Leeds United came out of their first pre-season friendly fixture with a win on Wednesday evening, as they defeated Irish side Shelbourne thanks to goals from Souleymane Doukara and Hadi Sacko. The duo had the away side two goals clear within the first fifteen minues, with new manager Gary Monk undoubtedly pleased with his first fixture in charge of the Whites. Having lost the reigning Football League Player of the Year, Lewis Cook to Premier League side Bournemouth just last week for a reported £10million, Monk is keen to quickly embed his new signings into the squad. Having lost promising youngsters in the form of Sam Byram, Jonny Howson and Fabian Delph over the past few seasons, supporters at Elland Road will certainly be hoping that Monk can have more success in the transfer market than his predecessors.
Despite a victory over a second division Irish team not quite setting pulses racing, Monk will have undoubtedly been positive to come away with a victory, as well as suffering no injuries during the ninety minutes. After Doukara gave Leeds an early lead inside three minutes, on loan Frenchman Sacko demonstrated his potential by quickly adding a second. Although Monk is still keen for further additions to his squad, big spending Leeds United are currently 11/1 in the football odds with bookmakers Coral to gain promotion this season, having finished in a dissapointing twelfth position last time around.
Former Oxford United striker Kemar Roofe looks to be the pick of the new squad members so far, having been chased by many teams throughout the football league as a result of his exploits last season. Fellow new forward Marcus Antonsson made his debut on Wednesday evening, with the Leeds faithful hoping the Swede can transfer his form from the Swedish Allsvenskan, where he was the top scorer before his departure.
Having been impressive for Northern Ireland during their Euro 2016 campaign, Stuart Dallas will be looking to continue his form into the new Championship season. Dallas joined Leeds back in 2015 from Championship rivals Brentford, and has found the back of the net on five occasions since.
Another Swede, Joel Ekstrand, has now reportedly missed out on a move to Elland Road, with Monk concerned about the defender’s physical condition following long term absences through injury. Monk and Massimo Cellino are undoubtedly still working on incomings to the club, with the back line in desperate need of reinforcements.
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Leeds pick up first pre-season win against Shelbourne