Ex-Sunderland and Arsenal starlet signs long-term contract with Leeds United until 2026

Ex-Sunderland starlet Sam Greenwood has signed a new long-term contract with Leeds United.

Greenwood, who left the club to join Arsenal in the summer of 2018, was born in Sunderland and came up through the youth ranks at the Academy of Light. The 20-year-old joined Leeds for a seven-figure fee in the summer of 2020.

Since his move to Elland Road, Greenwood has forged a good partnership with Joe Gelhardt in the Leeds’ under 23s squad. Greenwood netted a hat-trick against Sunderland’s under-23 team for Leeds a couple of seasons ago.

Since then, Greenwood has made his senior in a 3-0 FA Cup third-round defeat against Crawley Town, coming as a second-half substitute under Marcelo Bielsa. His second senior appearance for the club was in Leeds' Carabao Cup defeat at Arsenal in 2021, where he came on as a 70th-minute replacement for Rodrigo.

GUISELEY, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Sam Greenwood of Leeds United takes a drink during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Guiseley and Leeds United at Nethermoor Park on July 27, 2021 in Guiseley, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Greenwood made his Premier League debut last year as a substitute in a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal and was then handed his first top-flight start in the final match of the season away to Brentford.

Greenwood alongside Crysencio Summerville have both agreed fresh terms until the summer of 2026, with Gelhardt staying on until 2027.

Under Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven, the Academy of Light retained its Category One status. However, several exciting young starlets were allowed to depart and Madrox’s watch.

Luca Stephenson, Joe Hugill, Greenwood, Bali Mumba, Francis Okoronkwo and Logan Pye all departed to various clubs higher up the food chain. The mass exodus didn’t sit well with supporters with many fans feeling the club’s academy was heading in the wrong direction.

Recently released Red and White Army minutes read: “The club are committed to retaining academy players and will work hard to achieve this. These players must be shown that there is a pathway to the first team. KS (Kristjaan Speakman) believes the club is in a good place; young players are being given the chance to be involved with the first team.

“SD (Steve Davison) said the club working hard to compensate the loss of several academy players 3-5 years ago.”