Blackpool make highly-rated Leeds United defender Oliver Casey their fifth signing of the summer

Highly rated Leeds United starlet Oliver Casey has become Blackpool’s fifth signing of the summer.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 3:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 3:48 pm

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The 20-year-old has penned a long-term three-year deal, with the club holding the option to extend by a further 12 months.

The move, for an undisclosed fee, has been in the pipeline for some time, but it’s believed the Seasiders had to wait for Casey to return from a holiday in Portugal, which led to him having to quarantine on his return.

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“I’m really excited to get started. Once I knew of Blackpool’s interest, I was really keen to get this done," Casey said of his move.

“I’ve been at Leeds for 10 years, but I feel now is the right time to move on and make the next step in my career.

"Leeds have given me a good platform to build on, and what better place to join them from than Blackpool.

“This is such a big club and to play in the Championship with Blackpool is something I’m really looking forward to.”

Casey becomes Blackpool's fifth signing of the summer

Leeds were happy to allow the defender depart, despite handing the versatile player a new three-year contract last summer.

The centre-back had Liam Cooper, Diego Llorente, Robin Koch and Pascal Struijk all ahead of him in the pecking order at Elland Road.

Casey, who can also operate in central midfield, made his senior debut for Leeds off the bench during a game against Huddersfield Town in December 2019.

The defender made two further first-team appearances last season, both coming in cup competitions.

He also turned out for Leeds’ Under-21 side on two occasions in the EFL Trophy, with one of those coming in the 3-0 defeat against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.

He has yet to appear for Marcelo Bielsa’s side in the Premier League, but he was named on the subs’ bench on nine occasions last season.

The academy product was linked with a loan move to an EFL club in the January transfer window, but that never materialised.

Pool boss Neil Critchley has been a big admirer of Casey from his time working in youth football with Liverpool’s Under-23s.

“Olly is a defender with a very good pedigree and is someone we feel will bring real competition to the squad," Critchley said.

“At just 20 years of age, he is a player who has his best years ahead of him.

"He has had a great education and upbringing at Leeds United and is someone who we feel will fit in well within the environment we are building here.

“We are looking forward to working with him and helping him develop his game further over the coming years."

Casey follows Reece James (Doncaster Rovers), Daniel Grimshaw (Manchester City), Shayne Lavery (Linfield) and Josh Bowler (Everton) in making the move to the Fylde coast this summer ahead of Blackpool’s return to the Championship.

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