Leeds United are preparing to widen the recruitment team at Elland Road with the appointment of Oxford United chief scout Craig Dean as their new head of emerging talent.
Dean, whose career has involved prior roles with the Football Association and Newcastle United, will target signings between the ages of 17 and 21 as part of the transfer strategy at Leeds. United revamped their recruitment structure over the summer, naming Victor Orta as director of football and establishing a scouting network beneath him. Dean has twice held coaching roles with the FA and worked for six years as Newcastle’s head of football development between 2007 and 2013.
Oxford employed him in 2014 with the remit of heading up their own recruitment team. Current Leeds forward Kemar Roofe was among the players signed during Dean’s time at Oxford. Dean left the Kassam Stadium today and told Oxford’s official website: “The chance to join Leeds is a very exciting new challenge for me, one I’m looking forward to, but I wish Oxford every success.”
Meanwhile, former Leeds midfielder Toumani Diagouraga has joined Plymouth Argyle on a free transfer after a month without a club. Out-of-favour Diagouraga left Elland Road in August having reached a deal to sever his contract and joined League One Argyle as a free agent today. Leeds paid Brentfor £575,000 in January 2016 but used the midfielder fewer than 30 times and sent him on loan to Ipswich during the second half of last season.
The 30-year-old was involved in the club’s recent pre-season under Thomas Christiansen before being deemed surplus to requirements by United’s head coach.