Leeds United septet could play final Elland Road game v Brighton
Sunday 15 May’s Leeds United home game against Brighton and Hove Albion could be the last at Elland Road for a number of Whites players.
According to Leeds Live, as many as seven regular first-team players could be angling for an exit from the club should they be relegated back down to the Championship this season.
Brazilian winger Raphinha might already be heading out of Yorkshire regardless of Leeds’ league status next season with a move to Barcelona in the works and the Spanish club holding off on making an official offer before our fate is sealed.
Illan Meslier, Rodrigo, Robin Koch, Kalvin Phillips, Diego Llorente and Junior Firpo were all named as potential players who would push for a move away in the summer with the 2022 Qatar World Cup in November on their radar.
Playing in the second tier of any country would severely damage their chances of being in the squad for the tournament so a move would greatly benefit them should the Whites go down.
If staying in the Premier League wasn’t already important enough, this potential exodus of players should be the indication to Jesse Marsch that there is no bigger priority right now.
Sure there is a huge financial benefit to staying in the top flight with the multi-billion-pound TV deal but you get parachute payments in the Championship for a good two or three years so that isn’t of great concern in reality.
Leeds can quite easily recover that financial loss and with a decent enough side come back up fairly quickly but they won’t be able to do so if they lose this many players all at once.
The fightback simply must start on Sunday against Brighton with a draw being the absolute minimum they can afford to pick up with Burnley and Everton having a game in hand ahead of them.
The Clarets travel to Tottenham on the same day while Everton host Brentford, who Leeds play away from home on the final day.
In other Leeds United news, this Thorp Arch academy product is in the squad to face the Seagulls and could make his Premier League debut.