Are Leeds planning Euro challenge this season?

07 Jul 2021 08:04 am, by Ellandback1

Good Morning. It's Thursday 7th July, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...

Are Leeds planning Euro challenge this season?

After an stunning first season back in the top flight after sixteen years, many would suggest that the Whites would settle for stability and solidity to maintain their ninth place finish, but what if Bielsa had bigger and better ideas? Leeds won seven out of their last eleven games, drawing three and losing just the once against Brighton. This included a 2-1 win at the Etihad, a 3-1 win against Spurs and credible draws against Manchester Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool.

The recent signing of Firpo may suggest that Leeds are ready to move to the next stage and challenge for a European spot. Whilst playing under one of the best best coaches in Europe would be an attractive proposition, what every player wants is first team football and silverware. It was claimed that Firpo was extremely impressed that Victor Orta was willing to put himself in quarantine, in order to meet up, whilst other agents had zoom calls with the 24 year old. If Leeds are able to land Noa Lang and possibly Maxwell Cornet as a direct replacement for Helder Costa who's to say?

Spurs took the final European spot for finishing 7th. They were awarded a place in the Europa Conference League, which is UEFA's new third-ranked European tournament.

Leeds end pursuit of Nandez

The Athletic have stated that a deal to bring Nahitan Nandez to Elland Road this Summer is unlikely. The highly talented Uruguayan International would no doubt add bite to Leeds midfield, but his €36 million price tag seems a step too far financially, even if Leeds were allowed to split the installments over two seasons. Instead, Bielsa is keen to bring in a talented young central midfielder who he can develop into a player who perfectly fits Leeds’ system and playing style. Talks between Messrs Orta / Radrizzani and Cagliari President Tommaso Giulini have been frantic over the last fortnight. Both sides trying to put a deal together; unfortunately it looks like Leeds will walk away and continue their search elsewhere.

Leeds finally set to land McGurk

After a year of tracking, Leeds have finally landed highly rated attacking midfielder Sean McGurk to their roster. The 18 year olds contract ran out last week at the DW Stadium, where Leeds were waiting to snap him up, under the noses of a host of top tier sides. McGurk will reunite with ex Latics Joe Gelhardt, who hopefully will be breaking into the first team shortly. Due to the youngsters age, a tribunal will still set a fee even though McGurk is out of contract.

Paul Kendrick of the Wigan Observer told the YEP a few months ago...

McGurk has been in outstanding form for the Under 18s side this term, and may even be fast-tracked into the first team set-up after the squad lists are confirmed for the second half of the campaign - when he wouldn't 'count' for quota purposes.

View all Showing latest five comments of eight...

Irish Ian wrote on 07 Jul 2021 11:15 am

Last season we spent more than what was originally planned but the goal was to secure Prem football for the next two seasons. We borrowed money to do that. Lets not forget that.
This would lay the foundation for longer term goals of Europe, Stadium redevelopment within 5 years of promotion.

Last season was a fairy tale at times. Doing better this time will be harder as apart from the promoted sides every team we play will have experience of coming up against us. While I hope for better I am not thinking Europe.

Preferably mid table with one or two of the U23s embedded in the match day squad.

mothbanquet wrote on 07 Jul 2021 09:25 am

Bielsa isn't one to rest on his laurels, so I anticipate an improvement this season on last. If that so happens to mean finishing in a European spot then so be it, I reckon it's neither a set-in-stone goal nor something we're going to avoid. It will simply be a consequence of improvement.

mothbanquet wrote on 07 Jul 2021 09:20 am

weasel wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 8:42 am Did we simply end what we'd never started with the supposed pursuit of Nandez?
Same with De Paul, I suspect.

YorkshireSquare wrote on 07 Jul 2021 09:10 am

weasel wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 8:42 am Did we simply end what we'd never started with the supposed pursuit of Nandez? Think it is likely we may have had a small interest but his club/agent was doing more of the talking. With Firpo, and other pursuits in recent years it seems we only find out about a signing when the deal is basically done and those we were 'linked' with we don't sign.

Lot of agent chat going on there, as with Cunha too I suspect!

SG90 wrote on 07 Jul 2021 09:10 am

Carrick Dave wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 9:03 am Thing is, we already have a “talented young central midfielder who he can develop into a player who perfectly fits Leeds’ system and playing style” in Sam Greenwood.
Jamie Shackleton too. And Jack Jenkins.