The head coach discusses his latest loan signing...
Steve Evans says new arrival Mustapha Carayol will be given the "opportunity to challenge for a place in the team" after the winger joined on loan from Middlesbrough for the remainder of the season.
Carayol, a 27-year-old Gambia international, put pen to paper at Thorp Arch on Friday morning and goes straight into Evans’ squad for Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup Third Round tie at home to Rotherham United.
The winger has previously worked under Evans during a loan spell at his former club Crawley Town during the 2007/08 season, and the United head coach hopes Carayol will be “the first of three or four further additions to the group” during the January transfer window.
“Mustapha played for me as a kid many years ago at Crawley and we have often come across each since and kept in touch,” Evans told leedsunited.com.
“He was delighted to receive a call from the head coach at Leeds United and it took him less than three seconds to say ‘I’ll get in the car in the next 10 minutes and head to Leeds’.
“I don’t want to say what he will or won’t do, but what I can say is that every time I’ve seen him play he looks a serious threat to the opposition and he gets the opportunity to challenge for a place in the team.
“I look forward to this being the first of three or four further additions to the group before the end of the month.
“The boy travelled down to Leeds late last night, he arrived at Thorp Arch early this morning, passed his medical and signed his paperwork, and will now train with the group this morning.
“He will be in the 18 for our home FA Cup tie with Rotherham.”
Evans revealed it was a move which was finalised rapidly after only being made aware that Carayol was available for a loan switch less than 24 hours before he signed.
“Last weekend, the president and myself firmed up a clear list of intended targets for the January transfer window, including both permanent and loan signings,” he explained.
“I have to be honest with the Leeds United family and say that Mustapha Carayol was not on that original list as I only became aware yesterday from Aitor Karanka at Middlebsrough that Mustapha Carayol had asked to be made available for loan.
“I discussed this with my staff, looked at the fact that we need to add some genuine pace to the group, and it became obvious that he would add something to the group.
“I spoke with the president late yesterday and was given permission by Aitor at Boro to speak to Mustapha.”