Former Leeds United striker and BBC pundit Noel Whelan has backed the clubs’ reported chase for 27-year-old Brentford midfielder Romaine Sawyers.
The versatile midfielder featured 46 times in the 2018/19 campaign for the London club as he covered a variety of roles, and with some speculation over the last fortnight that we had joined Scottish side Celtic in the race for his signature after they had a reported £2million offer turned down, Whelan believes it would be a fantastic bit of business if we could pull it off.
Sawyers would be a more natural left midfield option for us given our current wide boys, but he’s also more than capable of playing through the middle, so I can see what Whelan is saying when he talks about the player ticking ‘a lot of boxes’ but having brought in Jack Harrison on another loan spell and spent big on Wolves winger Helder Costa, I’m not so sure that we’d have any real interest here as you’d presume we’d have more of a defensive focus.
The reference to Phillips is a strange one for me, as although he did play defensive midfield, it’s not his strongest position and on the assumption it’s Harrison left, Costa right and Pablo through the middle, I can only guess Whelan is buying into the Mats Klich rumours?
“Yes, he is Leeds quality. I’ve really liked him for a number of seasons. He is big and strong, very calm on the ball with a wide range of passing and, crucially, he is physical as well. He ticks a lot of boxes. He has developed at a good footballing club, which is what Marcelo Bielsa wants, and will have learned a lot from Dean Smith. I’d like Sawyers at Leeds, and I’d be very happy if we got him, but to play alongside Kalvin Phillips and not as a replacement for him.”
The other question, is if our interest in Sawyers is genuine, why not wrap it up in the Pontus Jansson sale?