UNITED SEAL DIAGOURAGA DEAL
French midfielder completes switch from Brentford...
Published 25 January 2016 at 03:00
We are delighted to announce the signing of midfielder Toumani Diagouraga from Brentford for an undisclosed fee.
The 28-year-old, who will wear shirt number 16, has penned a two-and-a-half-year deal at Elland Road and could make his debut in Tuesday's trip to face his former club at Griffin Park.
Speaking to LUTV about the move, Diagouraga said: “It came about very fast.
“Once I was aware Leeds were interested and a bid had been accepted, I came straight up here and made it happen.
“It was a difficult decision to leave Brentford but I felt the time was right for me to take on a new challenge.
“It’s a massive club with a massive fan base. It’s a club that belongs in the Premier League and one that should really be fighting for promotion.
“I’ve played here against Leeds a few times. Every time you come you see the stadium and the supporters and you know it’s a massive club.
“I’m sure most players would love to play in a stadium like this. It brings big expectations, but if you can’t handle that, then you shouldn’t be here.”
Head coach Steve Evans added: “Toums is a player who has been outstanding for Brentford in recent seasons.
“To many people in the game, myself included, he was one of two or three key players who led Brentford to the play-offs last season.
“Our supporters will quickly see that Toums is a big, strong, controlling midfield player who will boss the middle of the park on more occasions than many in the Championship.
“He is a player, alongside Liam Bridcutt, that I identified when I first joined Leeds United as someone that I’d really like to bring to Elland Road.
“With the fantastic support of Mr Cellino, we have been able to secure the signature of this talented boy.
“He has a big physical presence, but what will not go unnoticed at Elland Road is his ability to pass the ball.
“It has made him a sought after commodity in the last few days. He has chosen Leeds United over several other clubs in the Championship and of course another huge club up in Scotland.”
Diagouraga, a former Paris Saint-Germain trainee, has already featured 27 times in the Championship so far this season having established himself as a key figure at Brentford following his arrival from Peterborough United in 2010.
The Frenchman collected the Bees’ Supporters’ Player of the Year award last term after featuring 43 times in all competitions along the way to helping his side reach the play-off semi-finals.
Diagouraga’s career in English football began at Watford, where he progressed through the ranks to make his senior debut at the age of 18, before switching to Hereford United in 2008 via loan spells at Swindon Town and Rotherham United.
He returned to the Championship a year later with Peterborough but, after an impressive loan spell with Brentford, he moved to Griffin Park permanently in 2010 and has since racked up over 200 appearances for the Bees.
In fact, his 200th appearance for the club came at Elland Road last February –a landmark which Diagouraga celebrated by setting up the only goal in a 1-0 win for his side.
Diagouraga completed his United medical over the weekend and was in attendance at Elland Road for Saturday's victory against Bristol City.