Leeds do good summer business
When Leeds failed to win promotion at the end of a thrilling 18/19 season, all thoughts turned to the summer and whether the club could keep hold of their best players and strengthen the squad.
When the transfer window closed on Thursday, the answers weren’t black and white.
In terms of existing players, Leeds managed to hold onto Kalvin Phillips and that was absolutely key. He’s central to the way that Leeds and Marcelo Bielsa play.
Pontus Jansson and Kemar Rofe went, but with Ben White and Eddie Nketiah, Leeds replaced them with players that are just as good if not, in the case of Nketiah, better.
Credit to Victor Orta here. Nketiah was on the verge of joining Bristol City before Leeds’ director of football steamed it to deliver the pitch about Bielsa’s vision. That worked and Orta contribution here should be recognised and applauded.
Nketiah on his own won’t be the answer, though, and Bielsa will need goals from other players. Saying that, Pablo Hernandez and Jack Harrison have already got off the mark and that’s a very good sign for the season.
Harrison is back on another season-long loan along with Jack Clarke who was sold to Tottenham.
In terms of attacking options, Leeds look well set and in a much better position than last season.
Strong in attack, light in defence
Bailey Peacock-Farrell left too, moving to Burnley, but Leeds brought in
Missing out on Ryan Kent was a disappointment but not adding another centre-back is potentially a bigger problem. White looked assured in his competitive debut last week but if anything happens to him or Liam Cooper, we’re entering Gaetano Berardi territory and nothing is sure when this happens.
He’s a passionate player but that can often spill over into suspensions and after him it will probably be a case of Phillips dropping back like he did last season, and Leeds are weaker when that happens.
Overall then it was a mixed bag but Bielsa should be very happy, getting two of his three targets and landing Nketiah instead of Kent.
Leeds summer business: B+