Cody Drameh: the pacey young full-back hoping to become Marcelo Bielsa’s latest transformation at Leeds United
Cody Drameh, who came to Leeds United seeking first-team opportunities, made a strong claim for himself in his first season in white.
With a wicked pace and fearless desire to attack, Drameh had drawn comparisons with former teammate Ryan Sessegnon before joining the Whites in August 2020.
The full-back rubbed shoulders with the Tottenham defender at Craven Cottage, where Drameh rose through the ranks of Fulham’s youth set-up, making his Under-23s debut at the West London side aged just 17 before departing last year when the first-team opportunities he craved didn’t materialise.
Since Victor Orta was tasked with rebooting the academy on Andrea Radrizzani’s arrival in 2017, Leeds’ talent pathway has gained a reputation as one of the faster routes to first team football in the Premier League and Drameh is one of several bright prospects who have recently chosen to invest their futures at Elland Road.
Drameh said that Marcelo Bielsa’s track record for transforming players was a key motive for the move, as well as the opportunity to add his name to the list of young players blooded by the Argentine in his time as Whites head coach.
Leeds paid an initial fee of £1m for the young player, who arrived with ambition and has since made a very positive impression at Thorp Arch.
“As a player, I’ve got a great engine, a lot of stamina. I like to get up and down the pitch,” Drameh said after signing.
“I might need a bit of improvement in my attacking but that’s what I’m here for, under the coaching staff at Leeds - to get better.”
The 19-year-old quickly established himself as a top young prospect during his first season at Leeds. Drameh was a permanent fixture in Mark Jackson’s side as the Under-23s impressively gained promotion to Premier League 2 Division One at the first time of asking.
The Londonder also made strides towards the two goals he established on his arrival - travelling with the first team squad to face Brighton in January, before scoring a delightful goal against Burnley on the last day of the PL2 season in May.
His performances earned him a nomination for February’s PL2 Player of the Month and the attention of England U20s coach Lee Carsley, who selected Drameh to represent his country for the first time in October 2020.
Last month Andy Edwards handed Drameh his full England debut as the Under-20s thrashed Romania 6-1 at St George’s Park, and the full-back could feature again on Thursday night as the Young Lions take on Italy at Chesterfield FC.
If he does, it’ll come as no surprise to those who have kept a close eye on the young star’s progress at Thorp Arch. Speed is not the only asset Drameh offers. He is solid on the ball and boasts a near-immaculate defensive record - very few PL2 wingers can say they made it past him last season or even troubled him in one v one battles.
If he continues on an upward trajectory at Thorp Arch, he won’t be far from Bielsa’s thoughts.
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