Leeds United may have dodged a bullet as Jonjo Shelvey joins Caykur Rizespor on loan
Leeds United were always going to need reinforcement this summer and as one of the biggest clubs in the Championship, they were seemingly linked with every player that became available.
It was a transfer window of complete chaos with seemingly a new player linked with an Elland Road exit or arrival every day and we’ll likely never know how many of those options were ever close to donning the famous white shirt.
One name that seemed like a surprise link to Daniel Farke’s side was Nottingham Forest midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, with the Whites reportedly asking Steve Cooper’s side about the midfielder’s availability this summer (Team Talk, 21 August).
That ship has now seemingly sailed, with confirmation from Forest’s Twitter account on Thursday (14 September) that the 31-year-old had joined Turkish Super Lig side Caykur Rizespor on a season-long loan having been surplus to requirements at the City Ground.
Farke needed reinforcements in midfield this summer and Shelvey was seemingly available and keen to play regular first-team football, so on the face of it, this was a potential deal that could have suited all parties had it been completed.
Instead, the Whites have signed both Ilia Gruev and Glen Kamara to join both Ethan Ampadu and Archie Gray as options in the middle of the park and although both additions would have cost a fair bit more than getting the former Liverpool man to Elland Road, Leeds have likely made the right call.
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Shelvey has an excellent range of passing and is more than capable of scoring one or two screamers a season, but he has done very little in the last few seasons to suggest he would’ve been a success at Leeds United.
In 11 Premier League appearances for Forest, Shelvey failed to register a single goal or assist, his only true involvement being two yellow cards as he ended the campaign with an incredibly average 6.28 rating [Fotmob].
Remarkably, having only made his professional debut in the last few months, Gray has started more games this season than Shelvey managed in the Premier League for the entirety of the last campaign.
He last played a full game in March and was one of the worst additions Cooper made to his side following Forest’s promotion. Although a drop to the Championship could have seen him rediscover his best form, it was a risk Farke and Leeds didn’t need to take.
Instead, they now have four incredibly talented options in the middle of the park that will offer different skill sets to one another which should ensure nobody at Elland Road asks the question, “Maybe we should’ve signed Shelvey?”
In other Leeds United news, Leeds fans seem to be united together following a recent poll over expectations at Elland Road