By George Overhill

6th May, 2022 | 10:10pm

Ian Wright criticism contributed to Leeds United exit for Cody Drameh

Cardiff City Player of the Season Cody Drameh has revealed that criticism from Ian Wright contributed to pushing through a January exit from Leeds United.

The Arsenal legend singled out the youngster for blame during the 4-1 defeat to Arsenal in December, and lacking an opportunity to put it right through game time at Elland Road, he went against Marcelo Bielsa’s wishes to force the Welsh move to prove himself on loan.

He says the negative reaction from some fans affected him mentally, but he has vindicated himself with his performances for the Bluebirds, and having apparently not yet spoken to Whites boss Jesse Marsch, hasn’t ruled out leaving again if he doesn’t get assurances.

Speaking to Wales Online he said: “It’s not a concern for me [returning to Leeds], but at the time, it did affect me, I won’t lie. It did affect me mentally,

“I’ve never been in the spotlight before, so seeing my name in a negative light, which it hasn’t really been before, affected me mentally. But I had to learn from it and try and rise from it, I think I have.

“There were a few doubts when we got beaten by Arsenal at Elland Road, there were probably a few doubts over my ability.

“I felt I had something to prove, a bit of a chip on my shoulder, and hopefully I’ve proven it during my time here at Cardiff.

“You have to try and learn from it. That was Ian Wright, a legend of the game, it comes with a bit of weight.

“You saw in January, if I’m not promised game time then I don’t really want to be waiting around.

“I’m very young but there are players in my age bracket who have already played 100 games! That’s where I want to be.

“My options are very open. But I’ve got to see. I am contracted to Leeds and see what they are saying with me.”

Big plans

The 20-year-old has demonstrated some impressive fortitude for someone so young.

Not many his age would take negative experiences in their job together with public criticism from a big name, and package it together to second guess his own legendary boss.

But that is what Drameh did, and despite a mental low point after some fans saw him as disruptive he has delivered the goods.

Winning the Player of the Season award is rare for a half-season loanee, and also rare for a 20-year-old, let alone both.

It might seem that having been through all of that he had done enough to make himself somewhat of a priority for United.

But if he hasn’t even communicated with the new manager yet, and if the club’s reported pursuit of Calvin Ramsay is anything to go by, they still don’t see him in the same way.

He would appear to be perfectly placed to be integrated into the first team while Luke Ayling has the legs to share the role, but as of yet there is nothing to suggest Drameh won’t be playing elsewhere again next year.

In other Leeds United news, Paul Merson has credited a club adversary as “dragging” the Whites into trouble.