Update on George Swan and Louis Hutton moves from Leeds

A report in today’s Times claims that City have agreed to pay £800,000 in compensation to Leeds for the two 14-year-olds, George Swan and Louis Hutton. Previously I’d wrote how the sum had not been revealed by Leeds. City haven’t released any official comment.

It does seem a large sum when compared with City’s reported initial offer of £70,000. One factor may have been the recent tribunal award for Luke Garbutt, who moved from Leeds to Everton. The tribunal set an initial fee of £600,000 which could rise to £1.55 million. However Harding is 16-years-old, and two years can make a big difference in the development of teenagers.

Another move that is often referred to in these kind of cases, is that of Tom Taiwo and Michael Woods, for whom Chelsea payed £4 million compensation to Leeds when they moved as 16-year-olds. Now 19, Taiwo is currently on loan at Carlisle and had a trial for Seattle Sounders in the Summer. Woods has made two substitute appearances for Chelsea in the FA Cup.

There’s no guarantee that youngsters will go on to make it in the first team, particularly when that first team is looking to feature the world’s best players. The bar is so high now, you have to fear for any young player’s chances, but we wish them all the best.


The M.E.N. reports today (14/10/2009) that the club have ‘dismissed’ the £800,000 figure, but then goes on to say the deal could be worth up to £700,000 if the boys make the grade.

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  1. Luke Garbutt, not Harding.

    We previously had a left back at Leeds called Dan Harding but that was a few years back and he was a first team player in his 20’s.

  2. What about add ons, probably sell on clause. Don you know anything about that?

    • Hi leo, quite possibly there are add-ons, but the clubs don’t seem inclined to divulge the details. I’d like it if there was more transparency on transfer fees at all levels. There’s always something unsatisfying about an ‘undisclosed fee’.

  3. No nothing has been disclosed on this from Leeds’ end. To be honest this has been kept pretty hush hush over here as, being a Leeds fan myself, youngsters being taken from us is still a bit of a sore subject.

    As mentioned above Taiwo and Woods were “poached” by Chelsea a few years ago, but as well there was Danny Rose who was taken by Spurs and is now an England U21 regular and more recently the high profile transfer of Fabian Delph (although he is 19 so not quite as young as the others).

    You can’t blame the lads for wanting to move to a club in a higher division and testing themselves against better players but you do wonder whether it is good for their career in the long run…

    • I agree, unless they’re truly outstanding, they’re likely to be loaned out to clubs in the lower divisions anyway.

      There is the Wenger argument that some of the big clubs can offer better facilities, etc, but against this is the upheaval of the youngsters having to move or commute long distances. Arsenal let a host of players go in the Summer, many of whom had the upheaval of coming from abroad.

      Even with a bit of recent cost cutting I’d expect facilities at Leeds to be pretty good anyway. And then there’s the example of Dario Gradi at Crewe, who gave opportunities to lots of young players on a tiny budget for years.

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