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“Top player” Josh Sargent urged to be on Leeds United’s radar

Josh Sargent has delivered back-to-back impressive seasons with Norwich City, but the American is tipped for a potential move back to the English Premier League this summer.

Leeds United heads into the weekend, knowing a victory over Southampton on Sunday at Wembley Stadium will earn them promotion back to the top-flight. The Lilywhites recently eliminated Sargent and the Canaries from the promotion playoffs earlier this month, rolling 4-0 in the second leg at Elland Road.

Sargent, who scored just two goals in his lone EPL campaign, has since totaled 29 in the EFL Championship. The 24-year-old might be committed to helping Norwich City get back to the Premier League, but former Manchester United and Leeds United winger Lee Sharpe believes that Sargent would be a positive addition for the Yorkshire club, if they can get the job done on Sunday.

“You need to have a bigger squad if you are going to stay in the Premier League and Sargent is a top player so he is one who can do well,” Sharpe said in an interview with Football League World.

“He seems to have the hunger and the right attitude, so will relish the step up of the Premier League.”

Sargent is set to join up with the U.S. men’s national team this June for pre-Copa America friendlies vs. Colombia and Brazil, seeking his first cap since the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. A positive window against both could propel Sargent into Gregg Berhalter’s group stage roster for the competition before a potential return for Norwich City camp or a move to Elland Road.

For now Sargent remains a Norwich City player, but that could very well change by the start of the new English campaign in August.


  1. Sargent
    Age 18-22
    In EPL and Bundesliga as CF/SS
    64 matches 11g 6a
    In EPL and Bundesliga as W/M
    29 matches 2g 1a
    Age 22-24
    Championship and 2Bundesliga as CF/SS
    48 matches 27g 2a
    Championship as W/M
    19 matches 4g 2a

  2. Leeds have not been positive or a good developing ground for Americans. That environment was toxic and borderline abusive…… I don’t think Sargent should make that move IMO. Stay put, move to a more stable team, or move to La Liga, Serie A, a top 5 The Eredivisie team etc…..anything but Leeds United

    • Eddie Lewis was voted Leeds Player of the Year in 2007. Part of the problem was Jesse was always going to be on the hot seat because the roster was at best lower table. He gets them to overspend on Aaronson so now he’s almost doomed Brendan. Wes and Tyler were at least respected by the fans in the few games they played together for being physical but then Ty got hurt. Wes was left with managers who didn’t want or know how to use him. I’m not saying the fans were fair, but if we weren’t USMNT fans we’d probably blame Jesse and the guys he brought in too.
      If Leeds go up, I’m not sure if Josh is ready to be their #9. Put him up with Ritter underneath and Summerville and Gnoto it could be interesting. Would they view him as better than Piroe though? I haven’t seen enough of either this season to say. If they stay down and keep their current players (Summerville seems too good for Championship) then Josh should be able to put up big numbers.

      • Sargent or Piroe: Frankly I think Piroe’s peak is at the top of the championship. Josh a higher ceiling. It’s obviously a higher level of comp if they are in the EPL, but their strengths and weaknesses still apply. In the championship Sargent proved to be more a classic, well rounded 9. He is far superior in the air, hold up play, scoring on the counter, defending/high press. Piroe is a bit of an opportunist poacher and even then doesn’t seem to excel up high in the box… more often seems to like to drop into midfield looking for ball, scores on late runs into the box it seems. I think Farke felt forced to go w/ Bamford as Piroe essentially has no hold up play.

        As to whether or not I’d like to see Josh at Leeds…. if he can go in 100% healthy and 49ers continue to build the roster, there’s some potential for him to do well. Farke knows him, so if he goes its because he’s wanted and I do think he is the kind of hard-nosed player Leeds fans would take to. A fast start would definitely help ingratiate him/build confidence for himself and the fans.

      • rico-

        Being an American in the EPL is probably the hardest ask in Europe. In some ways it’s way easier being an American in Germany, Italy, Spain, even France, because yes, there’s a language barrier…but the language barrier also provides a natural insulation between the US players and the fan base and press. Sure, they may be talking sh!t about you, but if that’s not your media sphere, it’s also way easier to tune out.

        You don’t get that in England.

        And the English press is particularly vicious and English fans particularly unforgiving. Then there’s always that underlying resentment the English have towards Americans in general, where they sort of regard us as brash, uncouth, low-class, New Money upstarts who stole their thunder and place in the world and ran off with it and never looked back. (It’s why they’ve been so slow to acknowledge the reality that since they Brexited, America’s the only game left and align their economy accordingly the way Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and now Japan and Australia have. Ireland has…which is why the Irish have made absolute bank the last few years as a clearinghouse between the US and the UK.) And that particularly seems to come out in regards to soccer, because it’s their most beloved sport and the thing the English have always done better than us no matter where else we outshined them.

        The thought that America might one day eclipse them in soccer too is almost viscerally threatening to them. Listen to a limey talk about MLS sometime; you’ll get an earful. “Horse blinders” doesn’t begin to describe it; they are genuinely convinced MLS is somewhere around League Two quality. And try to convince one of them that MLS has pulled just about even with the Championship and is improving dramatically each year. (It’s like pulling teeth, I kid you not. But soccernomics also rarely lies and the English are more aware of that than anybody. It makes for interesting arguments the English always end up bailing out of.)

        So if you’re an American in England, you’d better not stumble. Ever. And you’d better have an extraordinarily thick skin.

      • sorry but there are english teams like FFC that welcome americans, and then some of the teams outside of the metropole have issues with americans, eg swansea. you are not warmly welcomed and will be savaged in struggle. if you have a choice, one over the other. i personally don’t get movement for the sake of movement. if you’re successful, chill a bit, and smartly pick where you go next.

        some of the people pimping soccer tactics have not considered the quality of the teams implementing them. i personally feel like pressing is naive but a good team can get away with it. but bad team leeds the pattern was they would run around like headless chickens for 30 minutes and maybe get a goal, then the game would turn on them with a vengeance the last hour, over and over. to me it’s a good way to get pulled out of shape and countered. is that what i want an inherently weaker personnel set doing, that is trying to beat teams with more spend and better players? no. to me the ticket out of relegation is be good at a phase of the game, garden variety defense, or unusually good in attack for a small team.

        FFC for years was a yoyo team when they tried to be an ok offense and indifferent to defense. when they combined actual defense with mitro, they started staying up.

        last thought but “run hard for 30 and give them fits” is like the stereotype tactic for weaker teams since i was back in select. and back in select you’re taught the riposte, stay calm, possess, don’t make stupid mistakes, don’t get caught on the ball in your own half, wait out the nervous chickens, and own the last hour. like i said, the deal with leeds is they would look interesting for 20 minutes then run out of gas. and a gassed team pulling out of shape to press is a bad thing to get countered.

      • Well said quozzel !!!
        (By the way have you been battling Leeds and Nottingham Forrest fans in forums too??? lol)
        In all seriousness, awesome outlook

  3. sargent’s pattern is he does well in the second division then gets a top 5 league first division job and disappears and scores no more than 5 goals a season. ditto pepi and some others. so i look forward to watching the form obsessives go in their down ebb.

    to me his brightest move would be stay put. failing that, move lateral championship, go to holland, scotland, austria, some lower key destination. quit making the same overreaching mistake over and over.

    last point but the US players used to be a lot smarter about making sure the last 2 years of the cycle they ended up on teams where they were being played and productive. (but then we used to not have the same opportunities.)

    • I am pretty sure that if he leaves Norwich for an EPL club he will get a large salary bump. You think he should not do that? Also, you make no allowance for him making improvement since he last played in the EPL. His one season in the EPL Norwich was relegated; they were not a good team.

      • the flaw in “team success is his success” is the odds of norwich staying up, go up more, the more new people they sign. the more new people they sign, the odds then also go up sargent sees competition or reduction in role.

        that’s setting aside his pattern of simply not producing as much in first divisions. personally i am not obsessed with that so much on a “form” basis. i think that ends up with us favoring whoever has signed in the easiest league putting up the best numbers. which discourages growth and risk. but since this coach is deeply concerned with playing time and production in club — club form — then it results in an odd dynamic where if one progresses to a harder situation, they may get punished for it — pepi.

        i don’t think they dramatically improve or not because the team is promoted or dropped, or they change teams. but i do think if you do well in second divisions then falter in first divisions, this gives a rough idea of where you stack in overall talent. the pattern suggests he is more akin to vazquez or dike, good in MLS or second divisions, less akin to dempsey, donovan, balogun.

        to me this works either way. balogun and the like have performed better in better leagues. balogun and the like have done better in a US shirt. this only gets confused when we ignore the US shirt aspect and up-down history of some of the candidates, and start pretending they are magically “better” as opposed to have found a more suitable club home.

        to me there are a limited set of US strikers, say, dempsey, who i have seen actual significant improvement over time. that kid started out a wing with a lot of show but not much finish — like cowell. that kid made himself into a precision finishing machine. when you can explain to me beyond numbers how this is going to be a different, non-witness protection, productive striker when sargent shows up, i’m listening, but the kid in qatar just disappeared from usefulness as a 9 all tournament, shouldn’t have been ahead of pepi, didn’t have to compete with balogun, and got played off the field by wright. and even vazquez has more US goals more recently than sargent. and he serves an actual tactical purpose we can execute as opposed to suits an all star mentality that never seems to gel.

      • short answer, if his team stays down, he should stay put. he’s productive with a team he’s been with for a bit, and who have shown him some loyalty and progressively leaned on him more. that in turn has helped him with GB’s picks. we are running out of time before the world cup, and the last thing you want to do is repeat pepi’s mistake last time, make a move at the end, weak numbers, then GB acts like you suck now. you don’t need the prestige and money immediately that bad. you can cash in after the world cup if you just have to.

  4. Bumpin’. So not content to put a big dent in the careers of Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, and especially Brendan Aaronson – who is only just now recovering from the beating he took with Leeds, both on and off the field – That Damn United is now eyeballing the hottest striker in the American pool.

    Gosh. What could possibly go wrong?

    • Like JR said, if Tyler, Weston and Brenden were not Americans you’d be agreeing with the Leeds fan view of them.

      “put a big dent in the careers of ”
      Those guys dented themselves.

      Except for Weston. With him it’s like Jesse invited him to a party on a cruise ship, didn’t see him when he arrived and then ship went out and sank.
      Fortunately Weston got rescued.

      Back when Jesse first got the job at Leeds someone whose name I don’t remember wrote in that they were worried that he would bring in Americans to what was a pretty dicey situation already ( who is arrogant enough to try and follow a legend like Bielsa?) and then get relegated and have everybody blame the Americans for it.

      You seem to forget that the Americans that the Brits do love, such as most of our Fulhamerica contingent or the Toffee guys( Timmy, LD , McBride and Joe Max Moore), Bolton ( Stu, Ream) or Stoke ( Geoff) , were largely successful.

      Sunderland were unimpressed with Jozy but then embraced the long serving Gooch.

      Leeds fans are just like fans everywhere; you suck, they hate you, you do well, they love you.

      American soccer people, overall, have not represented for Leeds lately.

      If Josh goes there and scores 17 he’ll be a hero.

      If Wagner had stayed with Norwich, then I would have preferred he stayed with the manager who, finally, used him as a proper #9 fulltime. That’s never happened before. But with the manager gone and a player fire sale likely to happen maybe it’s best for him to go now.

      The positive for Josh at Leeds is Farke. If he sees Josh as his Teemu Pukki then that’s a good reason for Josh to go there. Then after a few years Josh can move to Minnesota.


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