LEEDS UNITED will push Tom Lees towards a competitive debut for the club next season after revealing that interest in the young defender is growing on the back of his outstanding year at Bury.
United have received a number of enquiries about Lees’ availability following his contribution to Bury’s promotion from League Two this season.
The 20-year-old has played a central role in Bury’s top-three finish, and the club were bidding to snatch the title from Chesterfield during the last round of fixtures this afternoon,
Lees worked with United’s first-team squad during their last two pre-season campaigns but manager Simon Grayson opted to send him out on loan for the second time last summer, following on from a previous spell at Accrington Stanley.
His 49 outings with Bury have pushed him to within five games of his 100th senior appearance, and Lees could be given the chance to make his competitive debut for Leeds in the Championship next term.
Grayson said: “We felt that going out on loan again would benefit him as a footballer and as a person.
“He’s had a great year, he’s scored goals and he’s been part of a successful team. We’ve monitored him and had him watched a lot.
“He’ll come back to us, play in our pre-season games, and if he’s good enough to play in the Championship then we’ll have no problem with him doing that. If we think he’s going to be a little bit short then he’ll go out on loan again. But there are plenty of clubs who would like to take him. I’ve had clubs ringing me up already about his availability. For such a young kid to have nearly 100 appearances under his belt is great experience.”
United, meanwhile, have pleaded guilty to a Football Association charge of failing to control their players during last weekend’s 1-0 win over Burnley.
The club, who were fined £7,500 for a similar offence earlier in the season, have requested a personal hearing.