Leeds United: In-coming personnel not up to Cook class - Whelan

Lewis Cook
Lewis Cook
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I’D LIKE to know whether Garry Monk knew that selling Lewis Cook was going to be the case.

Because by all accounts he was building a team around these young boys and wanted to add more quality to it.

I feel like we have missed out on a massive player at the club now and I don’t feel that the players that we have brought in have the same quality or life-span of what Lewis Cook has.

I think we all know that he is potentially an England player and in my eyes he was probably the best player at the club, bar your Charlie Taylor there.

He’s young, he’s got at least another 10 or 11 years left in the game and he’s good now; but just look at the potential of what we could have had if we had kept him.

I feel like we have sold a player for £10m but I don’t see us buying players for £10m.

And that’s what we needed to do if we are really serious about challenging next season with the teams that have come down. They will be there spending money and bolstering their squad so we should have been keeping Lewis Cook and spending bigger.

The only thing I’d say now is, let’s be honest, do you think that the squad that we have got now, even with the six new players, are going to finish where we need to get promotion?

Yes, we have brought in a goalkeeper in Robert Green with experience but he is coming to the very, very latter stages of his career.

You’ve got a young player in Kemar Roofe who was the player of the year in League Two but we have just let one of our best players go.

It’s not a step forwards for me, it’s a step back.

Will Charlie Taylor go next? It’s more than likely I would think. The way that Massimo Cellino has come out and said they are not selling him, even if he has to keep him to the end of his contract, we have had that happen already with Sam Byram. We had to wait for six months for his contract to run down and then we had to sell him for less than we should have done.

And who’s going to want to play for the chairman after he comes out and publicly insults him.

Things are just not done right at the club unfortunately.

At the moment I don’t think the squad is good enough and that’s my honest opinion. Yes, you have brought six players in but they are not going be the difference and that’s a big worry. They are not the players that we were hoping to sign at the end of the season/the beginning of this one.

We were hoping to bring in some real quality.

Keep the players that we have got and release the players that are surplus to requirements like Casper Sloth, Giuseppe Bellusci and Tommaso Bianchi and maybe another couple – including Jordan Botaka possibly.

That frees up some wages and then really get three or four quality players in that will cost a bit of money.

That would then give you a chance to challenge against such as Newcastle and Norwich and all these other teams that are keeping their better players adding to them.

Roofe cost around £3m but he is not proven. He is proven in League Two but this is two steps up.

You need quality around that player to bring out the best in him and we have just lost that one quality player that could have made Roofe better and the whole team stronger.

I look at Cook’s departure as the same level as Robert Snodgrass and a number of those players like Jonny Howson – influential players that you need in your team.

Cook is very, very young. He had energy, he would die for the club and we have just let him go.

We didn’t strive to keep him I don’t think, we just waited for the biggest amount of money to come in and then just let him go. I think he will do excellently at Bournemouth because he has got a great manager there and he’s got a great infrastructure with the club.

That is probably something that drew him to it, they have got stability not just on the field but away from the field – in the boardroom and the club in general. When you get it right, players feel comfortable but you have got to fight to keep players.

You have got to show them that you want them to be at the club, you have got to show them that they are needed and we have not done that, I don’t think, with Lewis Cook.

Of the new signings, there is nothing there that excites me right now, I’ll be perfectly honest. I was hoping to get a proper striker in. Yes, we have got Marcus Antonsson but we don’t know anything about him yet.

We know that the Swedish League isn’t great and is that probably the same standard as League One? Possibly, maybe, I don’t know. We have got to be realistic here and we haven’t gone out and signed a Jordan Rhodes and spent £9m, let’s be honest.

We are just going on somebody’s opinion that trained with him or coached him but this is a completely different league altogether and that’s what people have got to start understanding. The Championship is a strong league.

There’s talk that Joel Ekstrand could be the next signing – and he’s had a lot of injuries. We are getting a lot of free transfers in and they are players that are surplus to requirements.

You are getting them because they are not good enough for the club that they are currently at and they are not going to be a difference at another club.

You are just bolstering numbers. We are selling players for £10m – £7m or whatever it may be rising to – but where are we putting that money?

Where is that money going?