Leeds United: The only way is up for Jimmy

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New signing Jimmy Kebe walked into Leeds United with a vow to make the play-offs this season, saying: “My only target is to get promoted.”

Kebe completed his move on loan from Crystal Palace and set a high benchmark for his spell at Elland Road ahead of an anticipated debut at Sheffield Wednesday this afternoon.

The 29-year-old – a Championship title winner with Reading in 2012 – has joined United until the end of the Championship season with a view to making his transfer permanent in the summer.

The deal with Palace, coming 24 hours after Cameron Stewart arrived at Leeds from Hull City, is a coup for United and Brian McDermott who worked with Kebe during his time as manager of Reading.

Kebe and Stewart sealed their transfers with Leeds battling to turn the corner after three straight defeats but with only a point separating them from the Championship’s top six.

Kebe said: “My target here is to play in the play-offs, minimum.

“I know that Leeds are a big club and there are big expectations but the fans are right to ask the team to do well.

“My only target is to play in the play-offs and get promoted.”

United hoped to make three signings this week but their interest in Ashley Barnes ended yesterday morning when the striker completed a transfer from Brighton to Burnley.

Burnley paid a fee in excess of £750,000 to seal the switch, with Barnes accepting a three-and-a-half year deal at Turf Moor, but the agreements with Kebe and Stewart have raised the mood at United after last weekend’s damaging FA Cup defeat to Rochdale.

Kebe admitted that McDermott had influenced his decision to ignore interest from Leicester City and Brighton, saying: “I spoke to him on the phone and he said straight away ‘do you fancy coming?’ I told him that I’d pack my stuff and come up that night.

“He knows me very well. He brought me over from France to Reading when he was a scout there. I enjoyed working with him then and I can’t wait to work with him again.

“It’s very important when the manager has confidence in you. He has trusted me from the beginning and I know exactly how he wants to work. That makes things easier.”

Andrea Radrizzani.

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