Elito nudges closer permanent feature

THE door has been nudged open a little wider for young starlet Medy Elito to become a permanent feature at Colchester United, following fellow left winger Kevin McLeod's exit to Brighton & Hove Albion yesterday.

Carl Marston

by Carl Marston

THE door has been nudged open a little wider for young starlet Medy Elito to become a permanent feature at Colchester United, following fellow left winger Kevin McLeod's exit to Brighton & Hove Albion yesterday.

Ex-Everton trainee McLeod turned down the offer of a new two-year deal with the U's, choosing instead to link up with former U's assistant manager Micky Adams at the Withdean Stadium.


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Adams left Layer Road in January, in search of a No. 1 post elsewhere, and he landed the Brighton job full-time in May. McLeod's cameo performances in the Championship were enough to encourage Adams to be reunited with the Liverpool-born wide-man.

"Kevin gave some outstanding performances in the Championship with Colchester," explained Adams.

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"Colchester wanted to keep him, but unfortunately they have lost him to us.

"He will give us pace, he can deliver crosses and he has enthusiasm.

He isn't a shy boy, so he will liven up the dressing room to some degree.

"At this level he is going to be a terrific signing for us. I liked what I saw of him at Colchester in that brief spell I had there,"

added Adams.

U's supporters saw the best and worst of McLeod during his two years at Layer Road, and that was neatly summed up by the final few weeks of his stay.

While McLeod struggled with injury, illness and fitness, 17-year-old Elito settled into the vacant left-wing role. It is a position that the England under-18 international will be hoping to make his own for the new season.

Ironically, though, McLeod returned to the starting line-up for the final game of the season, and ended up delivering arguably his best display in a U's shirt, capped by two goals in a 3-3 draw at Scunthorpe.

However, they were two of only four goals that he scored all season, and the first of these was on the opening day of the campaign at Sheffield United. The other was in the 1-1 home draw against Norwich in December.

Youth team product Elito made 11 senior appearances during the last couple of months of last term, and will not be looking to make a big impact in League One.

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