IZZY BROWN said he had joined an “amazing club” after arriving at Leeds United on a season-long loan from Chelsea – making him the club’s sixth signing of the summer.
Unbeaten Leeds sit top of the Championship ahead of tonight’s Elland Road clash with second-placed Middlesbrough, but they had been keen on adding another attacking midfield option before today’s 5pm deadline for loan deals.
The Whites had been in talks with Chelsea and Brown for several weeks and the 21-year-old flew into Leeds-Bradford Airport yesterday before joining the club for the remainder of the campaign, providing competition and cover for the club’s star No 10 playmaker Samuel Saiz.
Brown will not be ready to face Middlesbrough as he is still on the comeback trail having torn his ACL in January while on loan at Brighton.
The England Under-20 star has trained with Chelsea during the summer, but has not had a proper pre-season and Leeds believe it will take the new recruit until early October to get up to full speed.
There is no option to buy as part of the loan deal and Leeds will not pay Chelsea anything until Brown starts playing games.
But the new arrival will start training with Leeds shortly after the international break, with the Chelsea loanee revealing that the move represented something of a trip down memory lane.
“It feels amazing to be part of such a huge club,” said Brown.
“My first ever game I watched live was at Elland Road – Chelsea against Leeds when I was younger. In that game Leeds won, I don’t know the score, I think 3-1 or 4-1 or something like that but ever since then I have remembered that atmosphere and I felt the same atmosphere when I was playing for Rotherham against Leeds.
“You can tell the fans are a huge part of this club - it’s an amazing club.”
Ever since then I have remembered that atmosphere and I felt the same atmosphere when I was playing for Rotherham against Leeds. You can tell the fans are a huge part of this club - it’s an amazing club.Izzy Brown
In joining Leeds, Brown finds himself reunited with midfielder Lewis Baker and goalkeeper Jamal Blackman who are also on season-long loans at United from Chelsea.
The Blues trio join striker Patrick Bamford, left back Barry Douglas and Manchester City loanee Jack Harrison in making up United’s six signings of the summer.
Leeds are also continuing to offload players not involved with Dutch defender/midfielder Vurnon Anita poised to leave the Whites on a season-long loan before today’s 5pm deadline.
Anita is thought to be keen on returning to the Netherlands with the 29-year-old reportedly close to joining Eredivisie side Willem II.
United are also listening to offers for Republic Of Ireland international midfielder Eunan O’Kane who could also leave before today’s cut off point.
Leeds are not expected to make any further signings.
New recruit Brown is already a Championship promotion winner having helped Huddersfield Town to the Premier League through the play-offs whilst on loan at the Terriers from Chelsea during the second half of the 2016-17 campaign after spending the first half of the season on loan at fellow Championship side Rotherham United.
Brown made 20 Championship appearances for the Millers, scoring twice, with the midfielder playing the full 90 minutes of both the 2-1 loss at home to Leeds in November and also the 3-0 defeat at Elland Road in January.
The Peterborough-born footballer then made 21 appearances for Huddersfield - scoring five times and notably the first goal of a 2-1 triumph at home to United in early February en route to playing 98 minutes of the play-off final against Reading which the Terriers won on penalties.
Brown then made 15 appearances for Brighton including 13 outings in the Premier League last season before his season was cut short with injury.
Capped at various England youth levels, Brown started his youth career at Leicester City before switching to West Brom for whom he made one appearance before signing for Chelsea in July 2013.
The midfielder has made one appearance for Chelsea, coming on as a 79th-minute substitute in the 3-0 Premier Division loss at West Brom in May 2015.
Brown then spent the following season on loan at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem along with fellow Chelsea midfielder and now Whites team-mate Baker.
Brown made 24 appearances for Vitesse, scoring three times.