Leeds United must replicate 'sensible' £5m business after Gray sale - Graham Smyth's Verdict

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Keeping Glen Kamara would represent Leeds United business every bit as sensible as last summer's £5m deal with Rangers.

The midfielder is the subject of interest from Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais, who wanted to buy him this time last year before he opted to join Daniel Farke's Leeds United promotion bid. Leeds' position in regards to that interest when it first cropped up was that they were not actively looking to sell the Finland international. That position has not changed, but nor has the situation with Rennes because as yet they have not given Leeds a decision to make with a firm offer. The YEP understands that Kamara is seen as part of the plans for the 2024/25 Championship season, especially in light of Archie Gray's £40m move to Tottenham Hotspur, but as with any player the scale of any offer would dictate how seriously the Whites would treat and discuss it. Anything close to what they paid for him simply would not make sense.

It is precisely that high profile and controversial departure of Gray's that should be the first consideration if and when Leeds' Kamara resolve is tested by Rennes or anyone else for that matter because continuity might not be sexy but it is vital this summer and a cornerstone of Farke's plans. That certainly fed into the decision to bring Joe Rodon back on a permanent basis from Spurs, because Farke liked the spine of his team. Kamara, alongside Ethan Ampadu in the middle of the park, would offer continuity and a more-than-decent 6-8 axis. Their defensive capabilities and ball retention would make them an awkward duo for opposition midfields. Signing a slightly more offensive-minded alternative to Kamara is key for Leeds this summer and so that bit of business, alongside Ilia Gruev, would just about complete the midfield picture.

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One of the criticisms you could have levelled at Leeds' squad build last summer was that it did not go far enough to address the inexperience Farke was going to have to manage. He himself brought it up on numerous occasions and there were times in the season when it felt like a bit more nous and know-how was called for. Already this summer the club have waved goodbye to Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas. Liam Cooper could well follow them out the door. Kamara is 28, he's been around the European block with Rangers and boasts 59 international caps. Letting more experience slip away would seem counterintuitive.

Kamara, who not so long ago became a Red Bull ambassador, was one of the brand's guests in a Leeds United delegation at Silverstone over the weekend. He returned for pre-season training last week and has not demanded to address his future or asked for a meeting in order to facilitate an exit. That, just like any situation in the game, could so easily change but if he has no intention of pushing for a transfer and if Leeds have no need to sell players now that Gray has boosted the coffers so significantly, then why even entertain this one?

By his own admission, Kamara took a little time to adapt to the league and its relentless demands last season. His form was a little up and down, just like it was for the vast majority of his team-mates and even those who picked up EFL awards, but the standard he set across the campaign was a good one. For a manager who wants to control and dominate games, players like Kamara, with the ability to disguise intentions and recycle possession so tidily, are important. The number of Championship managers who would happily take him for their squad would be high.

So long as Rennes are not offering to at least double the money that Leeds spent to bring the ex-Rangers man to Elland Road, then surely the only question for the transfer chiefs is why? Why would you? The aim of this summer is not to replace numerous parts of a team that overcame a slow, complicated start to reach the play-off final, but simply to strengthen it. Sell Kamara and they’d need to replace him. Keeping Kamara and adding another to the midfield would do that and give Farke the continuity he needs to try and take this team one or two positions higher next season.

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