18 July 2024
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Cody Drameh looks ‘one that got away’ as Djed Spence set to spark ‘serious fight’ at Leeds United – Graham Smyth

There will be a “serious fight” for the Leeds United right-back spot now that Djed Spence has arrived at the club, according to Graham Smyth.

The Yorkshire Evening Post journalist said on the Inside Elland Road podcast (7 September) that while he believes Cody Drameh could still prove to be “one that got away” for the Whites the incoming Tottenham loanee made it “hard to argue” with the trade off.

Spence made his debut off the bench against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday (2 September) and impressed late on, with Smyth lauding a “very aggressive” and “very good” showing that is set to put Luke Ayling’s position under major threat.

Smyth said (19m): “Djed Spence, he was the cat among the pigeons wasn’t he on Saturday when he came on for that cameo. It was such a dynamic cameo at both ends of the pitch. He just looked like a bit of a machine…

“He just looked very, very dynamic and aggressive, really aggressive, that recovery run and then the tackle he made… that was very, very good…

“I think it just shows that there’s going to be a serious fight for that right-back slot. I still think that Cody Drameh has the potential to be a one that got away, I really do, but you can’t really argue when you bring in a player of Spence’s quality.”


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Based on the early evidence Spence could prove to be an excellent signing, and if he can reproduce the form that saw Spurs do a deal worth up to £20million for him [Sky Sports] after he helped Nottingham Forest get promoted then nobody at Elland Road will regret it this year.

But Spence is only set to be with the Whites for the season and with Ayling having just turned 32 he likely won’t be around for a huge amount of time either way.

So it remains a potential risk to have let Drameh go once more, since the 21-year-old had arguably followed in Spence’s footsteps last term as he performed strongly on loan at promoted Luton Town.

Having also shone at Cardiff City the season before it was a surprise he was overlooked for opportunities in the Premier League when Rasmus Kristensen’s signing didn’t work out as hoped.

And after proving he knows his way around the Championship with two different clubs in as many campaigns it looked nailed on that he would get his chance after Leeds United were relegated, but it wasn’t to be.

His contract is up next summer so he is presumed to be gone for good, and while Spence may well displace Ayling over the course of the campaign it might be that all three are no longer at Elland Road in 12 months time.

Nobody can fault Ayling’s commitment to the club but his own deal was only extended for a year at the end of last season, so if the club are left looking for a succession plan next summer they might regret letting the one they had slip through their fingers, unless they can somehow keep Spence longer-term.

In other Leeds United news, a former £15m signing is set to have his contract cancelled amid a “complicated” transfer situation.

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