By Jonty Banks

6th Dec, 2022 | 6:10pm

Leeds United already played behind-closed-door friendly as America pre-season trip likely - Phil Hay

Leeds United have already played a behind-closed-door friendly with three more public matches scheduled before and after their Spain training camp, according to The Athletic’s Phil Hay.

With three weeks remaining until the Premier League resumes, Jesse Marsch’s side are ramping up their training schedule as they look to build on a crazy start to the season.

The Whites will face La Liga outfit Elche on Thursday (8 December) – one of Victor Orta’s former employers – during their training camp in Alicante, which was previously meant to take place in America.

The club will instead use the USA as a destination for next season’s pre-season training camp, according to The Athletic’s journalist Hay.

He wrote: “America will wait until next summer, a very likely destination for pre-season down the line. A European base made life more simple at a time when the club could do without complicating it.

“They have played behind closed doors already and will meet Elche, one of Orta’s old clubs, in the first of three public friendlies on Thursday.”

Tired legs

Following a frantic first half of the season in which Leeds found themselves up and down like a yoyo, some time away from football was much-needed in order to refresh and take stock of their campaign to date.

Even Marsch admitted the final few weeks had not been enjoyable due to some crazy results – a 4-3 win over Bournemouth, a 4-3 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, and a huge 2-1 victory over Liverpool – resulting in a much needed break for the squad.

Leeds have already taken part in one behind-closed-doors friendly, although an extremely youthful Under-21s side were fielded, as they lost 8-0 to La Liga side Valencia.

Getting minutes in his first-team’s legs will be the priority of this mid-season camp and potentially taking a look at some of Leeds’ academy players could be on Marsch’s radar.

The likes of Sonny Perkins and Mateo Joseph are both chomping at the bit for first-team minutes, and a friendly against Elche could be the perfect opportunity to let them stake their claim.

In other Leeds United news, Pascal Struijk opens up on the ‘difficult’ new challenges after Marsch brings new changes to the club.