Leeds United have missed out on yet another summer signing as Brentford’s captain John Egan has completed a move to Sheffield United. The 25-year-old was being targeted by the Whites for quite a while but now it is confirmed the player will spend the next season with the Bees. Marcelo Bielsa has so far made just two loan additions in Lewis Baker and Jamal Blackman, both from Chelsea.
Egan started his professional career with Sunderland but made his debut with Crystal Palace in an FA Cup third-round game against Derby County. He could not manage a senior team spot at Wearside and had to be sent out on loan to Palace, Sheffield United and Bradford City for further development.
The defender left the Black Cats for League One side, Gillingham in the summer of 2014 and went on to make 92 appearances for the club, scoring on 11 occasions and setting up 4 assists. Everyone got to see the Irishman’s footballing potential which eventually earned him a switch to the higher tier club, Brentford.
Egan immediately hit the ground running on his arrival to Griffin Park and scored his first goal against Ipswich Town in August 2016. The 25-year-old quickly established himself as a quality defensive head and was given the captain’s armband immediately after the departure of Harlee Dean last summer.
The Professional Football Compensation Committee commanded Brentford to pay Gillingham accordingly for their part in the player’s development. Now Egan has racked up 71 total appearances for the Greater London outfit with 7 goals and 2 assists to go along with it. His rapid progress through the English divisions also drew attention from his international coaches as Egan got to make his Republic of Ireland debut against Iceland in March 2017.
He has 2 caps for his country’s senior team and 18 for the U17, U19 and U21 sides. It was reported that Leeds had taken an interest in him midway through June as the club were undergoing a managerial shift.
The Peacocks need to make some defensive additions and have already lost out on Kyle Bartley to West Brom. Without the Englishman, the West Yorkshire club looked highly vulnerable at the back and let in 64 goals in 46 Championship games, leading them to finish in the 13th spot.
Bielsa might be trying way too hard to negotiate the prices down of his potential targets as they continue to slip away from the Argentine’s hands. He will have to spend the necessary amounts if Leeds are to challenge for promotion next term.