Leeds fan Tom Mordey gave us his views on new Reading signing Modou Barrow, after watching him last season at Elland Road.
What was your reaction when you signed Barrow on loan?
Delighted. It wasn’t exactly a trade secret that Leeds needed more quality out wide last January as we aimed to sustain our promotion push. And we got not one, but two wingers on Deadline Day – with Barrow arriving from Swansea and Alfonso Pedraza from Villarreal. Pedraza was something of an unknown quantity, but I expected Barrow to hit the ground running; indeed he’d played 19 times for Swansea in the first half of the season, albeit in a struggling Premier League team.
Did he play the way you expected?
Ah. I don’t think either player or club will look back fondly on this deal. Barrow played just five times since joining. Three of those appearances were in February, and only one was a start – in a 2-0 defeat to Brentford where Garry Monk hooked him after 68 minutes – Barrow’s final game in a Leeds shirt. He never got going at Leeds and as our season tailed off into disappointment, he disappeared altogether. Not our finest piece of work in the transfer market.
What were his main strengths?
Hard to say as we certainly didn’t see them in a Leeds shirt. What we thought we’d be getting was a pacy winger with a decent cross and with the ability to take on players. It never happened for us though.
Ineffective. Barrow didn’t get many chances at Leeds admittedly, but in his one start and four substitute appearances, it’s difficult to remember a meaningful contribution. In the second half of the season, our midfield did struggle with Monk sticking wholeheartedly to the 4-2-3-1 formation that worked so well before, making it difficult for our wingers to really get the chance to run at players.
Would you call his spell at Elland Road a success?
See above. It was more Jimmy Kebe than Max Gradel in terms of success as a Leeds United loanee.
Do you think he'll fit in with Jaap Stam's style of play?
He’ll certainly see more of the ball. Stam’s possession style game might have a few doubters in the Elland Road crowd… but at least Barrow should get a chance to show his stuff. Yann Kermorgant isn’t a bad person to have in the middle to put away any chances in the middle Barrow might create, but then again, he had Chris Wood to aim for last season and he didn’t do too badly…
Finally, will he be a success at Reading?
I don’t see why not. Despite disappointing at Leeds, we’ve got a pretty good track record at ruining loan players. He certainly showed potential at Swansea and there was definite excitement when Barrow joined the club. Jaap Stam did a great job getting the best out of his players last season, so perhaps he can get Barrow terrorising Championship defenders too.