Filed: Thursday, 21st August 2003
By: Graeme Howlett
West Ham have signed up and coming Leeds youngster Matthew Kilgallon on a three month loan deal, it has been revealed.
19-year-old Kilgallon is a highly rated 6'2" centre-half on the verge of breaking through to the Leeds' first team.
He made his debut for the Yorkshire club in a 4-1 UEFA Cup win against Hapoel Tel Aviv in November 2002; his first league appearance coming as a substitute against West Ham last February.
Kilgallon has been described in footballing circles as 'the new Jonathan Woodgate' - for both his footballing style and looks.
Speaking a few weeks ago about his league debut against the Hammers last season, York-born Kilgallon revealed:
"I loved it. It was a great experience and hopefully I'll get some more opportunities in the future. It was just the whole playing at Elland Road thing that made it so special."
And of his move to East London?
"The boss hadn't said too much to me about my chances this season, but I've seen so many players go [from Leeds] that it seems like a matter of time before another chance comes my way.
"I've played some games for the reserves so I'm fit; I'll just have to take my chance."
Roeder, speaking on the club's website earlier today added:
"We are confident that if we use Matthew in our first team he will be up to the job. Peter Reid, who rates him highly was happy for him to come to us for three months.
"He wasn't happy for us to take Matthew on loan for the whole year - though we would have liked him for the full season.
"But he is a Leeds player and Peter has the call - he wanted to make it no longer than three months and then we can reassess things then."
Hardly a signing that will set East London alight, many supporters are yet again questioning Roeder's strength in the transfer market.
In recent days Carlton Cole, Mikael Forssell and Jermain Pennant have all turned down loan moves to West Ham. Despite the fact that Premiership clubs are now able to loan from one another many supporters remain unconvinced by Roeder's 'pull' in the transfer market.
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