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Leeds came mighty close to making the play-offs last season and it was thought that Garry Monk would be the man to spearhead another tilt at promotion, but it is 44-year-old Dane Thomas Christiansen who has been charged with that task. Having replaced the departed Monk, Christiansen is expected to bring in many new faces during the summer transfer window and already has Poland international midfielder Mateusz Klich on board. The Whites needed a new midfield general and the hope is that the 27-year-old former FC Twente star will be able to dominate in the middle of the park and also chip in with the odd goal after scoring six times in the Dutch top-flight last season.
Defensive reinforcements are likely to arrive, with doubts over the future of Charlie Taylor, and reports claim that Roda JC Kerkrade’s Ard van Peppen is on United’s radar as a possible replacement should one of Burnley, Celtic or West Brom snare Taylor. Pontus Jansson looks a solid and towering presence at the heart of defence but the Swede will need a new partner after loan signing Kyle Bartley returned to parent club Swansea City.
It has been suggested that the Elland Road outfit are targeting Granada’s Iceland international Sverrir Ingi Ingason and are plotting a £2m bid for his services. He penned a deal with the Spanish side until 2020 in the January transfer window but the club’s relegation from La Liga means that he will almost certainly be looking to move on. The prospect of higher wages, a promotion run and the carrot of the Premier League might be all that Leeds require to lure the 23-year-old to West Yorkshire. He is strong in the air, technically sound, snaps into his tackles and has an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time to sniff out danger - attributes that will serve him well in the cut and thrust of the Championship.
Chris Wood performed heroics up front, with 30 goals from 48 appearances in all competitions, but he could do with some help to ease the pressure on his sizeable shoulders. Pablo Hernandez is on board for another season but is not getting any younger and may well spend time on the bench to be used as an impact player later in games. United seemed keen on Porto striker Adrian Lopez but ended their pursuit due to the wage demands of the Spaniard, who was reportedly asking for more than £25,000 per week.
Crystal Palace’s Fraiser Campbell could be someone who Christiansen looks at as he is on his way out of Selhurst Park. The 29-year-old’s contract is up and, with new boss Frank de Boer set to bring in many new faces, it seems unlikely he will be offered new terms. Leeds have shown an interest in the striker before, trying to sign him back in January 2016, and, although he has had a lean time of it in recent seasons, knows his way to goal.
United will be hoping to gain automatic promotion to the top-flight and avoid the complete lottery of the play-offs. If you’re going to bet on Leeds going up through the play-offs, you’d be better of looking up online roulette sites instead given our recent history since relegation in 2004. Christiansen will be hoping that the balls fall nicely for his side next season and he seems to be making the right noises so far as he looks to assemble a squad fit to make another run for England’s top division.
There is no Newcastle or Brighton in the championship this season