By Daniel Lewis

16th Sep, 2023 | 8:10pm

Ross McCormack makes Leeds United prediction after 'tough' transfer window

Ross McCormack has praised Leeds United for their work during a “tough” transfer window and insists a top-six finish now has to be the target for his former club.

The Whites lost a number of players on the back of relegation to the Championship, while speculation regarding the futures of Willy Gnonto and Crysencio Summerville dragged on throughout the summer.

However, Ethan Ampadu, Sam Byram, Joel Piroe, Ilia Gruev, Glen Kamara, Joe Rodon, Jaidon Anthony and Djed Spence all arrived – the latter three on loan – to replenish the options available to Daniel Farke.

Reflecting on Leeds’ transfer activity and their aims for the season, McCormack told West Yorkshire Sport Daily [15 September, 2m 57s]: “It was a tough transfer window.

“It felt that any time you opened a news outlet, you’d see a star player wanting to leave, so it was a tough time for the manager.

“I think he’s done well in bringing some really good players in. I can see how he wants to play, so if the players buy into that then we’ll have success this season.

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“Moving forward to the tail end of this season, it’s important Leeds United, for the final dozen games of the season, are on the coattails of the top six, if they’re not in it already, so they can have a really good go at [promotion].

“I don’t care what anyone tells me: I look at that squad on paper, and they should be in the top six – end of story.”

Season starts now

Now that the dust has settled on the transfer window, there is an overriding feeling of positivity around Elland Road – even if the results so far have not been all that great.

Bringing in Piroe, Gruev and Kamara late in the window helped with that, with all three expected to play major roles in helping to guide Leeds back into the Premier League.

As McCormack says, that has to be the goal now, even if it is via the play-offs.

Farke’s men have not made the strongest of starts, taking just six points from their first five games, but this two-week break has provided a reset of sorts.

United should treat the showdown with fierce rivals Millwall on Sunday [17 September] as the true start to their campaign now that their squad is locked in until at least January.

The trip to The Den is swiftly followed by games against Hull City, Watford, Southampton, QPR and Bristol City over the next three weeks, so Farke’s favourite formation and line-up should become a lot clearer by this time next month.

In other Leeds United news, Weston McKennie has given a frank assessment of his time on loan at Elland Road.