Leeds United came back to winning ways this Friday as they defeated Derby County with comfort amidst some major off-field drama which is now commonly being called as the spy-gate. United have had major injuries to their squad but they are yet to sign anyone in the transfer market. Bielsa did go on to admit that he needs some signings but is adamant that the Whites should only make signings if the players coming in improves the quality of the squad.
Among all this, they were linked (Daily Star) with a move for Motherwell’s 16-year-old midfielder Stuart McKinstry. The right-sided midfielder is yet to make a senior team appearance, but the Whites were keen on him and were looking to offer £400,000 for his services.
However, latest reports from the Scottish Sun as cited by Hull Live indicates that United’s chances of signing him have gone down significantly and they are set to miss out on him as Mckinstry has reportedly agreed a deal with the Saints and the Premier League outfit are confident of landing him this month.
Given that the West Yorkshire outfit were willing to pay £400,000 for a player who has not even made a single senior team appearance showcases that the youngster possesses enormous talent. He has made it to the bench of the senior team and maybe in the second half of the season, an appearance for Motherwell could be on the cards (If he stays).
As for this being a big blow to the Whites, it can’t be ascertained right now as McKinstry is yet to be tested at the top level. It was clear the midfielder was being seen as a future prospect at Elland Road, and he would have had no impact in the first team this season if the Whites would have gone on to sign him.
United have a history of promoting some youth talents and under Bielsa that has reached another level. The manager is happy to trust his youngsters instead of going into the transfer market and making panic signings and any youngster around the globe should be excited to move to Elland Road right now. However, Southampton too have a tradition of finding hidden gems, and it seems like they have gone ahead in the race for this midfielder.
McKinstry signed his first professional contract just last season only, and it would be interesting to see how he would develop in the next few years. As for now, Leeds United seem to be out of the race for him as the young prodigy is close to moving to Southampton.