Leeds United survival won't stop players leaving - Dominic Matteo
Survival Sunday is fast approaching for Leeds United as they know that they have to better Burnley’s result to remain a Premier League side.
The Clarets’ midweek draw away at Aston Villa has dragged them back above Jesse Marsch’s side on goal difference with one game to go with Burnley hosting Newcastle while the Whites travel to Brentford.
Former Leeds player Dominic Matteo believes that even if Leeds do stay up and maintain their place in the top-flight, a number of players would leave the club for bigger and better things.
“If you’re being realistic, it could happen,” Matteo said to The Mirror. “You have to be realistic, if they were to go down or even if they stayed up in 17th, would a top player be happy with that?
“Regardless of whether Leeds stay up or not, they could lose players. That’s the nature of the beast. I’m sure there are other clubs interested in their best players because they’ve got some good talent there, even among the young players.
“If they were to lose Raphinha and Phillips, would more follow? That’s what happened in my era.”
It’s looking more and more inevitable that the best of our players will head out of Elland Road in the summer and Marsch will have a very big rebuild job on his hands, whether that be for a Premier League or Championship season in 2022/23.
Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips are the two most obvious candidates to leave given their reputation as some of the best players outside of the traditional big six in the country but they won’t be the only ones.
Clubs should be looking at the likes of Pascal Struijk and Illan Meslier after impressive seasons for the youngsters and someone as inexperienced as Joe Gelhardt could also be on a few radars too.
In a way, the club need to have two lists of players going for their own summer recruitment because a lot more players would be willing to join if we continue to be a top-flight side but that list shortens dramatically if we go down so we need to be prepared for both eventualities.