Danny Mills: Leeds United need a holding midfielder and striker this summer

Former Leeds United star Danny Mills reckons Marcelo Bielsa squad could do with another holding midfielder and striker.

The Elland Road outfit impressed in their first season back in the Premier League after a 16-year wait, finishing in ninth place in the table.

Leeds did not have to make a complete squad overhaul like some newly-promoted teams do, retaining the core of the squad that led them to promotion.

Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford were two of the players that stood out, with the former making England’s 26-man European Championship squad.

The Leeds striker missed out, though, despite ending the campaign with 17 Premier League goals and seven assists.

Bamford will be hoping to break into the Three Lions’ World Cup squad next summer, and Mills thinks stiff competition can get him and Phillips firing on all cylinders going forward.

“When I look at it, I would go for the midfield area, I think alongside Kalvin Phillips,” the Sky Sports pundit said on talkSPORT while discussing where Leeds need to improve this summer.

“Kalvin is a lynchpin. He’s happy to sit in that midfield area and he dictates an awful lot of things. He’s defensively very very responsible, when everybody is flying all over the place, playing man-for-man, he’s the one that sits in the middle of the park. He is the glue that holds it all together.

“So I’d have competition for a place in there and also to give him a rest at times. I still think they need a centre-forward to challenge Patrick Bamford.

“He has had the most incredible season, did anybody see this coming in the Premier League? Probably not is the answer. He’d been in the Championship for the last couple of seasons. He’s done well but he has missed chances. He’s like Timo Werner at times. He does so much for the team but he does miss chances.”

Spot-on!

Bamford missed most big chances (21) in the Premier League in 2020-21, according to the Premier League’s official site, and that definitely affected his chances of breaking into manager Gareth Southgate squad.

Scoring half of those chances would have seen him land the Golden Boot, and ignoring him for the Euros would have been impossible.

There is no doubt that the Leeds star is a fine target man, but we believe he really needs to improve his finishing and landing a striker to keep him on his toes could do the trick.

Phillips also needs quality cover and competition next term, and we need to get one this summer.

Leeds clearly struggled in his absence, and Bielsa will be scratching his head in search of a capable back-up.

Strengthening those two key areas would boost our chances of finishing in the European places next season, and we cannot wait to see which players are signed this summer.

In other Leeds news, the Whites are in talks with well-known agent to sign £17.2m dazzler with ‘world-class’ skills.