A fab five or a fantasy too far?
26 Jun 2019 11:20am, by YorkshireSquare
It’s fair to say that, even by their standards, Leeds had an intriguing season in the year just gone – we’re talking spy gate, allowing walk in goals and a title race that ended in play-off heartache. Long gone are the years where Leeds was more likely to be a top pick in the odds for the World Series of baseball, than of actually being favourite for a promotion place in Premier League!
It all changed last season with the arrival of Argentinian tactician Marcelo Bielsa. So, they’ve arguably already made their biggest signing of the window - keeping Bielsa, who seems to be eager in making Leeds an exciting team to watch. So, their transfer business could prove equally as interesting to keep an eye on. Here’s five to watch over the coming months.
5) JACK HARRISON
Harrison is a name known to all Leeds fans after his successful loan spell last season, in which he made 42 appearances. The 22-year-old winger has several offers on the table but has reportedly advised Man City he wants to reunite with Bielsa. Whilst it will be a good signing, it won’t be a name the fans crave but a promotion could see Harrison become a permanent addition and that would be a huge positive. It’s a deal that’s as good as done.
4) FRANCESCO TOTTI
Okay, the chances of this one materialising would appear slim, very slim, but it has been rumoured that an offer has been made to Roma legend Totti, 42, to come out of retirement. At this age it is not likely to see a field player on the top flights, even if he is one of the best to ever grace the game like Totti. Even if ‘Il Capitano’ was to agree to a deal, it seems unlikely he’d feature much after two years out of the game although his talent is unquestionable and since he has fell apart with Roma’s board, he might be eager on a challenge. He would certainly be a huge signing for the marketing team though. Don’t hold your breath though.
3) HELDER COSTA
Costa is a huge talent and was a sprinkling of stardust in the Wolves team that won promotion to the Premier League a couple of years ago but whilst featuring in 25 matches as Wolves finished 7th last year most appearances were from the bench. Costa is reportedly free to move but he’ll be keen to ply his trade in the top tier again with play-off winners Aston Villa also interested, so Bielsa will need to use all his charm to get this one over the line. A little of Portuguese flair worked for Wolves, so who knows if Costa would be a lucky charm for Leeds to finally return to the Premier League?
2) JAMAL LOWE
Lowe started his career at Barnet but started to find the net on a regular basis at Hampton & Richmond before being signed by Portsmouth for an undisclosed fee. Since joining, Lowe's established himself as first choice on the right wing and last season top scored with 17 goals (all comps) and added a further nine assists.
Pompey will be keen to keep Lowe to aid them in their promotion challenge after missing out in the last campaign but, given they’ve added to their attacking options in the last week with the signing of Ipswich forward Ellis Harrison, this could well have legs. Leeds have some competition on this one, but they seem like the biggest club currently bidding for the 24 year old, which might weigh on his decision.
1) GIANLUIGI BUFFON
The experienced Italian stopper is one of the most decorated goalkeepers in world football and, for a long time, was hailed as the best of the lot and the rumour mill suggests he could be heading to Elland Road for the twilight of his career. Buffon has recently left PSG after spending 23 years in Italy with Parma and Juventus; he is allegedly eager to return to one of his former clubs in Italy, Parma or even Juventus, but he has also been muted as a possible destination to replace another star keeper, Iker Casillas, in FC Porto. Expect any deal to drag on for a while but the rumours don’t appear to be fading.
There you have it, five transfers that will keep you refreshing your phone at every opportunity and if all goes to plan, Bielsa and his men will head into the new season with a real shot at promotion.