Leeds United prospect Robbie Gotts was hot property over the summer, with a number of clubs coveting his signature.
Hull, Sunderland, Charlton and Swindon were all credited with interest before Lincoln City were announced as his intended destination. Gotts, who made his first-team debut for Leeds in the FA Cup against Arsenal in January, appeared a further two times for the Whites before his loan move.
After biding his time at Lincoln City, he got a start at right-back as they were beaten 3-1 by Portsmouth. He’s now started four times in total, including last night’s 1-0 victory over Swindon Town.
As well as being cherished by his new employers, he is also closely monitored by his parent club, who have some watch all of his games, as he told Lincoln City fan site The Stacey West.
“There’s a guy called Craig Dean at Leeds who watches the loan players,” said the 21-year-old. “He gives feedback after the game and chats to you, which is nice as it keeps you involved there too and shows they care.”
Dean is no stranger to Lincoln manager Michael Appleton. He was a scout at Oxford United when the former Blackpool boss was in charge there, and he emerged through the Manchester United youth ranks at the same time, although unlike Appleton he didn’t forge a strong career on the field.
He has, however, become hot property in the recruitment world, having joined Leeds in 2017. He was thought to have been coveted by a number of top clubs whilst Leeds were in the Championship, having been credited with identifying Daniel James at Swansea before the Welsh winger joined Manchester United.
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Gotts is finally getting the game time many Leeds fans have hoped he would, having been forced to wait a few weeks at Lincoln. He’s playing right back at the LNER Stadium, even having to drop back there after just fifteen minutes or so against Manchester City in the EFL trophy despite starting in his favoured midfield role.
Given how thorough Marcelo Bielsa is, there is little surprise that Gotts is being monitored so closely, but there is a hint there of how Lincoln may have secured his services. Michael Appleton is a highly respected coach and seeing that a former employee and teammate of his oversees Gotts’ progression certainly helps us to understand why Lincoln, and not Sunderland, Hull or the others, were entrusted with the youngster.