By Wayne Veysey

28th Jan, 2017 | 9:44pm

Robbie Fowler: I've been blown away by this Leeds key man, he's a huge talent

By Alex Stevens

Robbie Fowler has hailed Garry Monk as a huge talent who can steer Leeds to the Premier League this season.

The Liverpool legend and former Leeds striker denied that Monk was “desperate” to take a job for erratic owner Massimo Cellino and explained how he had been blown away by the manager’s performance over the last six months.

The former Swansea manager has transformed the fortunes of the Yorkshire club since he took the Elland Road reigns last summer after Cellino axed Steve Evans, his sixth sacked head coach in little over two years at the club.

Monk oversaw a radical overhaul of the squad – there were 11 new arrivals – that has paid huge dividends.

The likes of Pontus Jansson, Kyle Bartley, Pablo Hernandez, Luke Ayling, Hadi Sacko, Eunan O’Kane and Kemar Roofe have all made a major impact in their first seasons at Leeds.

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The Yorkshire giants have climbed from the mediocrity of a 13th place finish last season to third in this campaign and have genuine promotion ambitions.

“I don’t care whether people think other clubs deserve to be in the Premier League, but I know Leeds do – and, in Garry Monk, they have the perfect man to take them there,” Fowler wrote in his weekly Mirror column.

“He did well at Swansea, but it could have been the end of the line when he didn’t immediately get another job.

“Some people said it smacked of desperation to accept a job under Cellino, but it has worked out because now we can see the talent he has.

“I’m truly happy for him. He has shown real coaching skill in setting Leeds up right, and managerial talent in producing a togetherness within his squad and a belief they can win games.

“Now, the Leeds fans are talking about Monk and his team – not talking about the owner. And I believe they can go up this season.”

Leeds kept their promotion hopes on track in midweek with a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest that enabled them to leapfrog Reading and Huddersfield.

The Elland Road outfit are in cup action this weekend as they travel to non-league outfit Sutton United for a televised FA Cup fourth round clash.

In other Leeds news, there has been a finale in a major deal after a £7million Leeds bid was tabled.

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