By Sean Fisher

10th Nov, 2022 | 7:40am

Leeds United in delicate talks with West Ham board as 'underhand' verdict shared - Phil Hay

Sonny Perkins made his debut for Leeds United on Wednesday night against Wolves after joining the Whites in the summer from Premier League rivals West Ham.

Leeds United moved quickly in the summer transfer window to sign exciting young talents, and West Ham’s Perkins emerged at the top of their list.

Rumours had swirled all summer over a move and after West Ham released an ominous statement revealing he’d turned down a contract at the London Stadium and the Whites snapped him up just 19 days later.

That’s according to Phil Hay, who revealed via The Athletic that West Ham accused Leeds of “underhand” behaviour in their approach for Perkins.

“West Ham did not name names but said they suspected he had ‘been approached to sign for another club, which led to him asking to be released from his scholarship’,” wrote Hay.

“Since then, conversations between the two teams at board level have been delicate at best. West Ham think Leeds were underhand in recruiting Perkins and want a good seven-figure sum.

“Leeds deny any wrongdoing and do not believe Perkins’ status as a scholar, his salary at West Ham, his limited minutes as a first-team player or prior fees for academy footballers like him should value him at more than £750,000.”

A brilliant bargain

Regardless of West Ham’s thoughts on the move, Perkins’ £750,000 price tag has already been justified. The 18-year-old hit the ground running in Yorkshire this season and has netted eight goals in 13 appearances across all competitions.

His scoring streak at the start of the season was mesmerising and it clearly caught Jesse Marsch’s attention, as the American was keen to hand Perkins his full Leeds debut against Wolves.

Despite the loss on Wednesday, Perkins did show glimpses of brilliance at Molineux and there’s no doubt that Leeds fans will be seeing plenty more of him in the years to come.

West Ham are probably kicking themselves after letting such a promising youngster leave their books for such a small fee. Realistically, Perkins is well worth a seven-figure fee but Leeds will be jumping in joy over their summer bargain.

He joins a long list of exciting young players coming through the ranks at Elland Road. The future looks bright for the Whites, and it’s great to see the academy players already be given a chance by Marsch.

In other Leeds United news, Jamie Carragher slams Leeds United quartet as Gary Neville makes Premier League relegation admission