Leeds United boss Steve Evans aims to extend Sunderland midfielder Liam Bridcutt’s loan until the end of the season – and the player is “100%” happy to stay.
Bridcutt, out of favour on Wearside, sees his initial emergency loan spell come to an end following today’s Championship clash with MK Dons.
Sunderland will surely be happy to let the former Scotland international continue to ply his trade at Elland Road, unless offers for a permanent transfer elsewhere are made, and the player will be happy to be playing regular first-team football again.
Bridcutt has helped Leeds rise up the table, with 12 points gained from the seven matches he has featured in.
Evans is eager to keep the ex-Brighton man on board and has said many times that the clubs have a “gentleman’s agreement” for Bridcutt to remain at Elland Road until May.
The downside for Evans is that Sunderland may not allow Bridcutt to return to Leeds immediately to see if permanent transfer offers come in. Evans said: “I can’t say I don’t have any concern about it, but I’m not panicking either.
“I know we’ve got a gentleman’s agreement with Sunderland and I’d like to think that will stay in place. But I know that could change if someone makes them or Liam a massive offer. If that happens then I’ll shake his hand and wish him well.
“Out of everyone, I’ve probably got the least control over this. A lot of it’s down to Sunderland and Sam Allardyce (Sunderland’s manager), but I’ve asked Liam if he wants to stay and he’s told me ‘100%’.
“You can’t praise his performances highly enough and he’s done what I said he’d do when I signed him. But I’m aware of one or two other players out there who could do the same job for me if that’s how it goes. I’m not saying I want to go down that road and I’d love Liam to stay but we’re not going to get caught out.”
Meanwhile, Elland Road great Peter Lorimer reckons an extension of Bridcutt’s loan would be massively beneficial to Leeds.
He told our sister paper, the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It seems to me that keeping Liam Bridcutt is essential.
“It’s been fascinating to watch him play and watch him make a difference, partly because of the quality he’s showing but also because of the fact that he’s the only player Steve Evans has signed so far.
“If that’s Steve’s sort of player, the calibre of football and transfer he’s after, then I’m looking forward to seeing who else he can get.
“What Bridcutt does is give you control. He’s a natural in that defensive midfield role and it’s been great to see a loan player come into the club and look 100 per cent committed.
“That’s quite rare and it says a lot about his personality
“I very much doubt that his performances have gone unnoticed elsewhere, so it’s difficult to know what will happen in January. It might be that Leeds are able to keep him or it might be that someone else comes up with a big offer.
“Sunderland probably need the cash.
“I sincerely hope he stays on, but if he doesn’t then we need to find someone just like him because I don’t think anyone else in the current squad is suited to doing the job he does.”