Cody Drameh announced himself at Arsenal now the hard work continues for Leeds United

Leeds United full-back Cody Drameh announced himself to the wider world with two crunching tackles at Arsenal on Tuesday night.

Friday, 29th October 2021, 11:50 am
Leeds United full-back Cody Drameh at the Emirates. Pic: Bruce Rollinson

The first, a perfectly-timed swipe of the ball from Gabriel Martinelli’s feet at the Emirates, was followed swiftly by a 50-50 slide challenge against the onrushing Ainsley Maitland-Niles just a few seconds later.

Drameh, on full debut, was met with cheers and it was a signal he meant business. His evening in the capital improved from there.

Regular watchers of the club’s Under-23s side will be well versed in the 19-year-old’s abilities – a strong one-on-one defender with a keen eye for utilising his pace down the attacking flank.

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Marcelo Bielsa described Drameh as being in his “best moment” this week since joining the club from Fulham around 18 months ago.

The right-back earned a starting berth in the League Cup tie against the Gunners through perseverance and circumstance but, for many, it was the chance he deserved after his stellar form in the academy ranks.

Hard work has been going on with the England Under-20s youngster behind closed doors under the stewardship of development boss Mark Jackson and the rest of United’s coaching staff.

He has learned the Bielsa way, and now the Whites are hoping he has already taken his first steps to being a long-term solution on the right side of the Elland Road first-team’s defence.

“He had a great season last year, he was another young player coming into the club,” Jackson told the YEP.

“Like all of the players in our group, they’re in and around the first team every day. They’re having exposure to the first team all the time.

“He’s one of the players who is progressing well. He’s one of a group of players in our 23s who are fighting every day to get better and trying to make that next step up. It is a massive step to the next one.

“They are under no illusions to that but he’s one of a group of players who are working really hard. As a group of staff, he is one of the players we are working hard with to get to that next level.”

Drameh has taken the leap into senior football for the first time and his goal will now be to stay there on a permanent basis.

Leeds, as with every player, have a plan for his future and it contains a number of steps to be ticked off though injuries may mean his chance in the Premier League could come sooner rather than later.

“Every single player has got a development plan for how they want to get better and how we can help them fit into the system at Leeds United, ” Jackson continued.

“We share that with Cody all of the time. We look back on his game looking at where he can improve. He’s really receptive to that work. He’s got an element in attack where he is strong.

"He has got elements in defence where he is strong.

“He also has areas where he can improve. It is a case of them trying to bridge that gap, which is a really, really big gap to get into the Premier League and play in the first team and sustain a place in the first team.

“He’s working really hard to do that, as all the players are.”

Leeds finished Tuesday’s clash at the Emirates with four players from the club’s Under-23s on the pitch as Drameh was joined by second-half substitutes Joe Gelhardt, Crysencio Summerville and Sam Greenwood.

Drameh was delighted to end the game alongside his young Whites team-mates.

Drameh said: “We had five subs so I was hoping I could see some of my under-23s players who I have been playing with throughout the season. I was happy to see them out there as well.”