It shaped up to be a strange Monday for Leeds United fans as given the boost everyone took from the arrival of Helder Costa, the departure of Pontus Jansson did burst a few bubbles and we also saw another young talent depart in the shape of Liam Kitching.
The 19-year-old Academy graduate spent the last 18 months out on loan with Harrogate Town gaining good game time and showing a decent eye for a goal with seven to his name according to Soccerbase.
Whilst Kitching probably wasn’t a lad on the lips of many as we look to next season and a desire to go one step further in the chase for promotion, plenty thought a permanent deal with Forest Green Rovers (undisclosed fee) was strangely timed given the departures already this summer of Aapo Halme (Barnsley), Paudie O’Connor (Bradford) and Hugo Diaz (released).
— George (@GeorgeWIufc) July 8, 2019
Why are we mass selling all our Defenders? ????
— ROSSii (@MrROSSii1990) July 8, 2019
It's kinda what you do at a certain point with youth players who are not in contention for the first team. I can understand some reaction over some others but Kitching hasn't even played an EFL game. Best of luck to him but clearly not the answer to strengthening our defense.
— Anders Lagerfjärd (@jalager) July 8, 2019
He's not one of "our defenders" Never played for first team ????
— Keep fighting ???? ???? (@sam51h) July 8, 2019
Another defender gone you might aswell keep it going and sell our best defender… oh wait a minute ???? that's awkward
— Daniel yra ???????? (@Danielrleeds1) July 8, 2019
Halme, Kitching, Diaz and O’Connor gone, with Jansson to follow. Seems strange when we were already struggling with cover at centre back last season. Can’t wait to see Ayling and Berardi fill in again once White picks up an injury and Cooper is suspended ????
— Oliver White (@OliWhiteMOT93) July 8, 2019
Looks like we're selling everything including the Kitching sink.
— Daniel Hurton (@ItsCurnsStupid) July 8, 2019
Defenders and centerbacks are overrated we’ve got Kiko bull in a china shop casilla and just going win every game 5-4
— Sheldon Levett (@lufc_levett) July 8, 2019
Whilst I understand the lack of strength argument at the back, if we decided Halme and Diaz weren’t the answers after their impressive Under 23 campaign, with no slight meant to Kitching, non league football at 19 wouldn’t have him on Marcelo Bielsa’s radar and we all know how many Under 23 games he took in as he assessed players for the futures.
If we felt the lad wouldn’t make the step up with us, it’s only fair to get some cash back into the club and let him take his opportunity elsewhere as it simply means he wasn’t in first team contention, so it’s not a loss.
Hopefully, we get a lift soon in the shape of new contracts or some reassuring signings.