Cody Drameh has arrived at Leeds United with the remit of succeeding Luke Ayling as the club’s long-term right-back.
Leeds signed Drameh from Fulham in the summer of 2020, despite the fact that both sides had just won promotion back into the Premier League.
Marcelo Bielsa has already handed Drameh various first-team opportunities this season, but it appears that Leeds’ motive is more long-term.
Writing for The Athletic, Phil Hay has outlined that Leeds’ thinking when it came to a move for Drameh was that one day he could replace Ayling as the club’s go-to right-back.
The 19-year-old has made two appearances this season for Leeds, featuring against Arsenal in the EFL Cup and then against Norwich City in the Premier League.
Ayling has missed Leeds’ last six fixtures through a knee injury, but has been Bielsa’s first choice right-back since the Argentinian arrived at Elland Road in 2018. Prior to that, Garry Monk, Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom had all used him regularly too.
Despite Ayling’s recent injury, Bielsa has resisted the urge to use Drameh as his right-back, leaning on Jamie Shackleton and Stuart Dallas instead.
Although Bielsa has gone with Shackleton and Dallas in recent weeks, there’s no denying that Drameh will be the long-term right-back at Leeds.
He’s got a lot of attributes that will shine in the Premier League, which is where Leeds will hope to be firmly established when Ayling eventually passes the baton on.
Bielsa will drip the teenager the necessary experience this season, with a more intense transition set to come further down the line.
At 19, Drameh has all the time in the world to develop and Leeds don’t need to push him too hard. They’ve got others to cover Ayling in the meantime.