Leeds United have completed the signing of Everton defender Matthew Pennington on a season long loan.
The centre-back finalised his move to Leeds this afternoon after travelling to the club’s training camp in Austria late last night.
Pennington has accepted a year-long stay at Elland Road and began working with Thomas Christiansen’s side this morning having arrived at the team hotel in Fugen yesterday.
Leeds beat off strong interest from Hull City to land the 22-year-old, securing an addition in a key area of Christiansen’s squad.
United were short of central defenders and have been working on a number of potential signings with Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson the only centre-backs in Austria prior to Pennington’s arrival.
Jansson is banned for the opening two days of the new season and Leeds turned their attention to defensive recruits after bringing in attacking players Samuel Saiz, Ezgjan Alioski and Caleb Ekuban last week.
Pennington, a product of Everton’s academy, was made available by manager Ronald Koeman after Everton paid £25m to take England international Michael Keane from Burnley.
The talented youngster’s time at Goodison Park has offered occasional first-team opportunities and he played and scored in a Merseyside derby against Liverpool last season but Koeman was willing to move him out on loan with his chances likely to be limited next term.
The move is the fourth loan of Pennington’s career following prior spells with Tranmere Rovers, Coventry City and Walsall.
He is unlikely to feature in tomorrow’s friendly between Leeds and Borussia Monchengladbach but could play against Eibar on Sunday, the final game of United’s tour of Austria.
Leeds lost a key centre-back in Kyle Bartley at the end of last season when the 26-year-old returned to Swansea City after a year-long loan.
Bartley is currently part of Swansea’s plans and travelled with the club on their tour of the USA last Thursday.