NEW LEEDS United signing Lee Erwin says he would never have forgiven himself if he had rejected the advances of the Whites – and neither would his dad either.
The Motherwell striker was unveiled at Elland Road yesterday afternoon, becoming the club’s second close-season recruit in the space of two days in the process following the capture of young goalkeeper Charlie Horton from Cardiff.
Belshill-born Erwin, 21, has signed a three-year deal with Leeds, with compensation, for a likely six-figure fee, yet to be agreed with Well.
The Fir Park outfit had tabled fresh terms to Erwin, who had rose to prominence with five goals in the final nine games of last term to help them to safety.
But Erwin says that the lure of Leeds was too strong.
The former Scottish U19 international, whose father was a player with Airdrie in the eighties, said: “With a club as big and successful as Leeds, it would be terrible to say no to an opportunity like this.
“My dad said you only get one shot and anything can happen next season and a move could have been out of the window.
“It was hard at the time to make the decision, but now I am excited.
“I was happy at Motherwell and I had been there for a number of years and was just breaking through to the first team and really enjoying it.
“But once a club like Leeds want to take you, you can’t really say no to that.”
Leeds interest in Erwin came out of nowhere towards the back end of last season and while he had been happy at Motherwell and was ready to build on his impressive end to the 2014-15 season, he is now firmly focusing on his new challenge.
Erwin acknowledges he is not expecting to become a first-team regular overnight, but he has pledged to give his all and make the most of his move to Leeds, which he readily admits has come as a surprise.
Erwin, whose seasonal commitments at Motherwell only finished on May 31, said: “It was a couple of weeks before the play-off games in mid-May that I read about the interest, but I didn’t really take much notice.
“But just before I went on holiday, I really heard about the interest and it came as a bit of a shock to me because I had read a few links on social media with other clubs.
“Once it came along, I was over the moon.
“I thought I’d have stayed at Motherwell for a wee bit longer. But these things happen.
“I don’t know anyone in Leeds, but I’ll get friendly in the next couple of weeks and look forward to it.
“It will be weird to start off with, but I am looking forward to it. It was an experience I would have to go through and I would have to do it sooner rather than later.
“I am here to progress and develop my game and hopefully get into the first-team squad sooner rather than later.
“There’s no targets to work on, it will take time and I still have stuff to work on. I am 21 and have only played one year at Motherwell.”
Now he is here, he is determined to follow the long line of Tartan footballers who have been successful at the club through the years and the decades.
He added: “There’s been a lot of successful Scottish players such as Peter Lorimer and Ross McCormack and Robert Snodgrass and hopefully I can do well here too at Leeds. I spoke to the gaffer briefly and was really impressed with him as well. I look forward to seeing what he is going to do with the club next season and starting pre-season.
“I know the club has a massive fanbase and I can’t wait to start.
“It can’t come quick enough for me.”
After announcing Erwin as the club’s second signing in the space of two days – further positive news could arrive at Elland Road shortly, with a deal to re-sign defender Sol Bamba understood to be close to completion.
Young midfielder Kalvin Phillips officially signed a two-year deal yesterday.