What Leeds United boss Daniel Farke said on Middlesbrough's loan agreement with Sam Greenwood and the comparison with Tottenham Hotspur and England star
Reports earlier this season revealed how Michael Carrick would have the opportunity to turn Greenwood’s loan deal into a permanent move to the Riverside for just £1.5million at the end of the season depending on the success of the 21-year-old’s stay on Teesside.
And so far that stay has been a positive one after the former Sunderland and Arsenal academy star has forced his way into Carrick’s starting line-up this season.
The young forward was loaned to Boro in the summer after picking up a slight injury in pre-season with Leeds boss Farke also blessed with options in attack at Elland Road. But having waited for his opportunity, after a number of substitute appearances to start the season, Greenwood was handed his first start in the win over Cardiff City in October and has not looked back with four goals in eight appearances since that start.
But speaking ahead of Middlesbrough’s trip to Elland Road, Leeds boss Farke admitted he has no regrets over the decision to loan Greenwood to the North East – a player he feels has one of the best free kick attributes he has ever coached.
"We are happy that he’s progressing in the right way because in general, not just about Sam, when you loan a player out you have two targets: either that he comes back in a good rhythm after a good loan with good performances and good confidence to improve your squad or to increase his value out of a business aspect,” said Farke.
"I think it was definitely the right decision to send Sam out because he’s a young player full of potential and has many good skills, for example set pieces and free kicks – he’s one of the best free kick takers I've ever worked with and I’ve worked with some good players like James Maddison.
"But it’s not like in American football where you have a specialist squad and just in case you can send one player in – if it would be allowed I would have definitely kept Sam Greenwood because he would be second to none.”
Farke added: “If you want to improve and create a value you have to make sure you play day in, day out as a young player and also 90 minutes. And let’s be honest, the situation for him was a little bit unlucky due to a mid-term injury in pre-season and in his positions we’ve got [Crysencio] Summerville, [Daniel] James, [Wilfried] Gnonto, [Jaiden] Anthony, [Joel] Piroe, [Georgino] Rutter, [Patrick] Bamford – it would be difficult for him to get this game time.
"He needed five or six games [with Middlesbrough] to get into his rhythm but I think he's had eight starts in this campaign so I think he’s on the right way to earn his spot in a really good possession side.
"I’m delighted for him because he's a really good player. There are no regrets, it's very beneficial. You want that a player does well and he’ll have a chance to look back at the end of the season on a really good loan.”