By Derek Smithson
Leeds are set to secure the signature of Everton defender Matthew Pennington, according to a reliable journalist.
Yorkshire Evening Post correspondent Phil Hay has claimed on his personal Twitter account that a deal for the 20-year-old is “almost in the bag”.
It is understood that the centre-back will move to Elland Road on a season-long loan from the Premier League side.
One centre-back almost in the bag for Leeds United – Matthew Pennington on season-long loan from Everton. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) July 18, 2017
The Daily Mail reported on Monday that the Whites were in the hunt for Pennington and Hay has now confirmed on Tuesday that a deal is close to completion.
Thomas Christiasnen is currently very short of centre-back options in his Leeds squad, with Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper the only recognised senior options.
The Yorkshire giants enjoyed great success with Swansea loanee Kyle Bartley last season and will be hoping Everton’s youngster can enjoy similar success.
Pennington is a highly rated talent at Goodison Park, but has been unable to force his way into a regular spot under Ronald Koeman.
He has made just nine senior appearance for the Toffees and is now set to experience regular first-team action in the Championship.
Football Insider verdict:
Leeds are in desperate need of defensive recruitments and Everton ace Pennington could turn out to be a great signing. The 22-year-old has not looked out of place at Goodison Park, but has just missed out on a serious breakthrough. He scored in a Merseyside derby last season and a loan spell is the best way to get the best out of him. Pennington is confident in possession and strong in the air, something that should help him fit in well at Elland Road. The youngster could make a formidable partnership alongside Jansson and could also learn a lot from the Swede. The defence is the one area that Christiansen still needed to address in his squad and is close to having a team that can challenge for promotion.
In other Leeds transfer news, they have made contract for a Championship left-back.