Leeds legend Peter Lorimer has his say on all matters United.
LOOKING at the situation with Ross McCormack and the speculation on his future, I have thought all the time that he will move on from Leeds United.
Ross is 27 now and this might represent his one and only chance to get into the Premier League. Hopefully, we can get there in the next few years, but realistically he will be wanting to play in the Premier League off the back of the good season last year and there’s a bit of interest in him.
This could be his one chance to go and prove to himself he can be a Premier League player. At the end of the day, everyone will want to play in the top league; we at Leeds have to realise that situation.
We probably realise it more than anyone as we have had four or five players over the past few years in similar situations. Only one, in my opinion, has really made it and that is Robert Snodgrass. Others have gone and not really made it in terms of becoming regular top-flight players.
Obviously, much of the talk is of Ross going to Fulham, with them being in the same division as us. But it’s the old story as those relegated clubs with the parachute payments means it’s a little bit unfair on the other sides competing for promotion and they have a massive financial head-start on the other teams.
The top and bottom of it is that our club is in a rebuilding phase and it will take a bit of time to get things right. Fans have to be patient, although obviously the sale of one of your better players will make many supporters disappointed. I fully understand their frustration.
But unfortunately, players come and go and obviously Ross had a very good season for us last year. If the club do feel it’s time for him to move on, it’s better, in my opinion, for him to move now before the season starts. It’s better for it to happen now, so that everyone knows exactly what his position is as it’s only five weeks to the start of the season.
It’s not a nice thing to go into a season with the future of a key player uncertain as there can then be a bit of unrest about. If it’s his decision he wants to go, then regrettably, we will have to accept it.
If Ross goes, I wish him all the best. The one thing that will be disappointing is he has made himself a bit of a crowd favourite with fans, many of whom will be disappointed.
But at the end of the day, in every case that I know of it has been the player’s decision at Leeds that he wanted to go. I have not seen any of the leading players who left the club in the past few years say it was the club that forced them to go, as far as I know. It’s been a case of the player wanting to go into the Premier League. Fulham might not be in the Premier League, but are a team coming down who have Premier League finances behind them.
Ross had an outstanding season last year and off the back of that is wanted by teams because teams are always looking for someone who can score goals. In previous years, he wasn’t as prolific.
Obviously, it will be hard to replace a goalscorer like Ross. But I am sure the club will be looking to others to come in to compensate for those goals that Ross scores if he goes.
In terms of bringing players in, Leeds have been stuck a little bit with the transfer embargo situation which has held things up. But I am sure there are plans for players lined up to come in.
Any money coming in for Ross would help that situation, obviously. And it’s never good policy to announce as a club that you have players lined up as other teams will then go for them.
As far as the existing squad is concerned, the main thing now is getting fit for the new season. They are out in Italy working hard by the sounds of it and they should come back with a fit squad for the start of the new season.
Onto the World Cup and it’s one that has been really enjoyable. I did think that the qualifying rounds would be the usual cagey stuff, but teams have been going for goals from the start. It’s been an entertaining competition.
It’s been interesting to see the US do well and good to see that the game is spreading world-wide with the likes of Costa Rica and Colombia still in the competition too.
I don’t think it’s a certainty that Brazil or Argentina will win it. There’s been no outstanding side yet and it’s been really competitive.
The superstars have shown bits, but not too much as yet and a lot of unheralded names have come forward. Ronaldo was a bit of a flop and Neymar has probably shown more that the rest, without being brilliant.
As for who I will be rooting for. I will have to stick with Costa Rica. I have drawn them in my pub football sweep, so I have to be on their side!