There’s no doubt that Ross McCormack is one of the most technically gifted players in our squad. But does his future lie at Elland Road? It’s been a long week for many Leeds and TeamMcCormack fans. After the player himself used Twitter to publicly deny any possibility of a move to Blackpool, he didn’t come out and deny the news of any interest from Middlesbrough. His tweet, “Humbled by all the messages from the Leeds fans today/tonight. Off to bed game tomorrow. Not aloud to speak about speculation sorry” prompted concern all over the Social Network site, with many fans believing he would be in favour of a move to Teeside.
More than a week on from the news breaking, the speculation hasn’t gone away. It’s believed ‘Boro have come in with another two offers since the first one, the latest believed to be around £1.3 million. Let’s be honest, are we likely to find a player of Ross’ ability with that kind of money? No, it’s that simple. Yes we need another centre-back and two wingers, but I don’t think we can afford to lose McCormack for anything less than say £2.5 million, and as long that is all going to be re-invested in the transfer market to strengthen. If we could get a fee of around that mark then that would give Brian McDermott money to get two or three extra players, but it would also mean losing one. So would that really be a good thing to do?
Leeds fans have been trying to tell the owners what their thoughts are on the possibility of selling McCormack. Against Leicester their were chants of “Ross McCormack, is not for sale”, as the team walked off after the 0-0 draw. And again today, when McCormack bagged Leeds’ equaliser against Sheffield Wednesday with a brilliant solo effort. As the fans sang, McCormack put his hands behind his ears, urging them to sing the chant louder, to which the crowd responded.
Then again, what if we were to cash in on McCormack? My opinion is no player is irreplaceable. There’s no doubt he’s one of our best players, but our squad genuinely isn’t good enough at the moment to gain promotion? I think in the majority of our games this season we’re going have to battle it out, and fight to win the 3 points. Like the draw against Sheffield Wednesday, they were more than willing to fight for every loose ball that was there to be won – every one of their players. But there were times when McCormack had the chance to bring the ball down and gain or retain possesssion, and he, as some would say ‘bottled it’. There’s going to be games like that, as well as games where we’ll be able to get him the ball in areas where he can do damage, again as we did yesterday when he scored the equaliser. A goal showing the quality he does have. The awareness the knock the ball past the defender and the composure and calmness to slot past Kirkland. That was the only time he really got into an area to do damage, apart from that Wednesday rarely had a player less than 10 yards of him.
The only other player I’d consider playing in the role behind the strikers, in our current squad, that could do as good of a job as Ross would be El Hadji-Diouf. Ross lacks a fair bit of pace in my opinion, but Diouf is even slower. Diouf, however, can hold the ball up brilliantly and would be good to use if we’re ahead. I wouldn’t consider him being a player that could make an impact off the bench if we’re behind. For me, he could be just as effective as McCormack if he was to start games. This would also allow the Scot to play further up in his preferred role as a central striker, the position I believe he is better equipped to play in.
So to sum it up, I don’t want to see Ross McCormack sold, especially to a rival Championship club. I’d like to see him given more chances as a forward but it’s hard when you’re only other option in the hole is El Hadji-Diouf, who isn’t really match-fit. Then again, if he is sold it will bring in funds needed to secure more targets for BMcD and strengthen us in other areas. But then this weakens us in that area.
I’d like to get your thoughts on the Ross McCormack saga? Would you sell him to bring in more players, or would you rather keep him and hope we gain money from somewhere else?