Good Morning Everyone. It's Thursday 25th February, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Up to five new arrivals in the Summer - Phil Hay
Leeds Utd journalist Phil Hay has revealed that Leeds plan on securing up to five new players in the Summer, but much will depend on who exits the club. Ezgjan Alioski is one of the most likely to head to pastures new in the Summer. The 29 year old North Macedonian International is in the final stages of his contract, and has shown little interest in renewing it, even though sources close to Elland Road indicate that a new contract is available.
One of Leeds top priorities in the Summer is to bring in a first choice left back! Currently the role has been shared between Alioski and Dallas. Perhaps this has made Alioski's decision for him. Dallas is a far more versatile player, that can put a shift in, anywhere on the pitch, and give a sterling performance.
After five years at the club, Pablo Hernandez's time will come to an end this Summer. He has been an amazing ambassador for the club, and obviously we all wish him well. Jamie Shackleton hasn't taken the steps forward that Leeds fans would have hoped for. He has made several appearances, many cameo but his performances have been mainly forgettable. Is it time to move the 21 year old on?
Tyler Roberts as we know blows hot and cold. What we may not know is that Bielsa is a big fan of the Welsh International. Whilst sentiment is unlikely to get in the way of the Argentine, Roberts may be safe for another season. Helder Costa is another player who blows hot and cold. The arrival of Raphinha has certainly restricted the former Wolves ace to bit parts. My guess is that Leeds will listen for offers for the 27 year old in the Summer. Leeds also have Ian Poveda who plays in a similar position on the right wing.
Adam Forshaw has been sidelined longer than the corona virus. Even if and when he returns, will he be the same player? Leif Davis is now 21 years old. He has had a handful of cameo appearances. There are many first team players in the Premiership younger than him. Is he good enough? Kiko Casilla tenure at Elland Road will surely come to an end this Summer. He's on big wages at Leeds which will put a lot of clubs off. Rodrigo hasn't set the World alight since his record transfer to Eland Road. If an offer around £23-24m were to come in for the 29 year old, would you accept it?
Fresh injuries decimate Leeds midfield
With Robin Koch, Ian Poveda, Gaetano Berardi, Rodrigo and Adam Forshaw sidelined, the last thing Bielsa needs to for any fresh new injuries. Unfortunately for the Whites, two more casualties have been admitted to the treatment room ahead of Saturday's clash against Aston Villa. Jamie Shackleton was absent from the match day squad against Southampton and Mateusz Klich was replaced on 59 minutes after needing treatment.
After the game against Wolverhampton, Shackleton presented himself with some problems in his abductor that did not allow him to play today. We don’t have information on Klich just yet," "I have to mention that he played whilst not being at 100 per cent," "It was an act of generosity from his part. It was another difficulty we had to endure throughout the first half. I value a lot that he sacrificed himself to be able to start this game.
Journey more of a roller coaster than expected - Kinnear
Leeds Managing Director Angus Kinnear has been speaking to the YEP about his time at Elland Road, and whether it had gone beyond his expectations!
I think what has surprised me and it shouldn’t have surprised me because I came because I knew it was a big club but the size of the club and the scale of the club has surprised me which has followed the success. Not only is it owned by the city but there’s an interest in Leeds United globally which I don’t think exists for many clubs, probably any clubs outside the top six. So I think our ambition of being a top-six side was absolutely right.
I think the journey that we have taken to get here has been more of a roller coaster than I expected. But I think the way that we went up last year and the way that we have approached the Premier League, I don’t think I could have hoped for any more. The team’s performances last year and the way that they stuck together both on and off the pitch, I have always said they will have a special place in Leeds United’s history for the way they acted, not only the way they played but the way they came together over Covid.
I’m not sure the fans really realise what they did then but for me it was the best indication of side before self and it just showed how special the club is.