Leeds United defender eyeing triumphant return after stroke of luck and Jesse Marsch conversation

Cody Drameh returns to Leeds United this summer with Cardiff City's Player of the Season award tucked under his belt

By Joe Donnohue
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 5:37 pm

Leeds United finished the 2021/22 campaign with victory against Brentford last Sunday, securing their Premier League status for another year.

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Jack Harrison's stoppage time winner led to jubilant scenes at the Brentford Community Stadium as survival, deemed slim before kick-off, became a reality.

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CHANCE: Cody Drameh has the chance to stake a claim as Leeds United's right-back next season (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Several injured and suspended members of the first-team squad were present in west London as Leeds secured their safety.

Luke Ayling, Adam Forshaw, Stuart Dallas and Daniel James were all serenaded by the travelling United support as they made their way over to the far corner at full-time.

Ayling and Dallas were both on crutches following successful surgeries, but face extended periods on the sidelines.

Dallas in particular will not play competitively for some time after sustaining a femoral fracture during the 4-0 home defeat by Manchester City.

Ayling on the other hand has undergone surgery on a long-standing knee problem and was seen wearing a leg brace along with the crutches at Brentford last weekend.

Head Coach Jesse Marsch predicted a '2-4 month' injury lay-off for the experienced defender, meaning he is likely to miss pre-season and the beginning of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign.

Dallas has often deputised at right-back during Ayling's sporadic absences over the past couple of seasons, but now with both players unavailable, the door has kindly swung open for returning full-back Cody Drameh.

The ex-Fulham youngster claimed Cardiff City's Player of the Season award despite joining the club on loan in January, such was his impact in south Wales.

Drameh delighted spectators at the Cardiff City Stadium with his energy, dynamism and defensive nous as part of Steve Morison's five-man Bluebirds defence.

Playing as an advanced wing-back on the right-hand side, Drameh picked up a couple of assists during his loan spell in the Championship and has returned to Thorp Arch with his stock at its highest point since joining Leeds two summers ago.

The 20-year-old asked former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa to go out on loan in January, in order to gain valuable first-team experience, a request not received all too kindly by the Argentine who preferred the youngster to remain at Leeds amidst a defensive injury crisis.

Bielsa sanctioned the loan exit nonetheless, prior to his own, more permanent departure the following month.

Five months on, Drameh can feel vindicated in his decision to seek a temporary move given the success of his loan switch in the second tier.

With injuries to Dallas and Ayling, as well as alternative full-back Jamie Shackleton seemingly out of favour with new head coach Jesse Marsch, Drameh could move to the front of the queue by the time the new Premier League season is underway in just over ten weeks' time.

Drameh is understood to have already spoken with Marsch and intends to stake a claim for regular first-team football in 2022/23, regardless of injuries to other players in his position.

The possibility of another loan this summer cannot be ruled out, but Drameh's preference remains senior action at Elland Road.