Leeds are now very close to completing a deal to bring Paul Heckingbottom to the club. The move will cost the club around £500k, a release clause triggered earlier this afternoon. Various media outlets including Sky Sports and The Yorkshire Evening Post are reporting that Heckingbottom will be in charge of Leeds training tomorrow.
The young coach turned down the chance to take over Sunderland earlier this season and was heavily linked with the recent Nottingham Forest job before Karanka took it on. He is very highly rated by many in football and his coaching ability is widely known for what has revitalised Barnsley Football Club despite a poor run of form in recent months. The main issue for Heckingbottom is that the players he brings through and develops, or brings in and develops are all sold from beneath him. The likes of Alfie Mawson, Sam Winnall, Conor Hourihane and James Bree have all been sold in recent times with very poor replacements signed. It is also known that Heckingbottom isn’t too involved in signing players, he prefers to concentrate on the coaching side of things, letting others recruit for him.
Another key area that will have attracted Leeds to Heckingbottom is the youth system. He is very keen on brining players through and improving them and it’s a hot topic at Leeds United currently. The club have spent some serious money on signing players from England and all over Europe this season and they need someone who will take advantage of that, Heckingbottom could well be that man. For someone who is coming from Barnsley to Leeds the possibilities are endless if they are taken advantage of and the academy will be a huge pull for the incoming coach. The fans are split on this but many are willing to give him the chance after hearing at how highly rated he is despite the current form at Barnsley. Context is crucial in this situation.