The opening weekend of the Championship season is now less than six weeks away and Leeds United still have plenty of work to do. Appointing a new head coach is the obvious priority at Elland Road, but the club have squad building to do, too, in order to make sure they’re ready for the new season.
Leeds have seen a huge portion of their squad linked away already this summer and while rumours regarding new signings have been few and far between, the club are said to be interested in a handful of players.
Taking those rumours into account, here’s a look at how Leeds could line-up against Cardiff City on August 6.
With Joel Robles released and Illan Meslier being linked to a number of clubs, it seems Leeds could enter the market in search of a senior goalkeeper this summer. A couple of names have been mentioned with Rotherham United’s Viktor Johansson and Newcastle United’s Karl Darlow both in the frame.
Darlow is the more experienced of the two and it seems as though he’ll be available this summer. He won’t be short of interest, with Hull City thought to be keen to re-sign him following his loan spell at the MKM Stadium last season, while Middlesbrough have also been linked.
Until Meslier’s future becomes clear, though it’s hard to speak about the goalkeeper situation with any sort of certainty.
Cody Drameh, Charlie Cresswell, Liam Cooper, Max Wober
As it stands it seems exits are on the cards for Diego Llorente, Junior Firpo, Rasmus Kristensen and Robin Koch this summer. Llorente and Kristensen are both reportedly in talks to join Jose Mourinho’s Roma with the latter spending the backend of last season on loan in the Italian capital.
Firpo and Koch have been linked to a number of clubs already and as the transfer window progresses, it’s hard to see ways in which they remain at Elland Road. The situation differs slightly for Drameh, though, who could get the game time he craves if Kristensen were to leave.
Drameh is reportedly attracting interest from the likes of Burnley and Luton Town, but it is thought he would be willing to stay if he is given first-team assurances. Cresswell has also been linked away but it seems likely that Leeds will be looking to him to play a key role in the Championship this season.
Liam Cooper is expected to stick around and he’ll provide an experienced head, while there hasn’t been any talk about Max Wober yet which suggests he could stay in order to help the Whites back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Luke Ayling, Pascal Struijk, Stuart Dallas and Leo Hjelde are expected to stick around, too.
Amad Diallo, Jayson Molumby, Sam Greenwood, Dan James
Midfield is an obvious priority for the Whites when it comes to recruitment with numbers needed in order to cope with the rigours of the Championship season and they’ve already been linked to a couple of names. Amad Diallo is the most recent player rumoured to be of interest.
The Manchester United youngster spent last season on loan at Sunderland and caught the eye with his performances at the Stadium of Light. Leeds are said to be keeping an eye on his situation at Old Trafford in the expectation that he will be allowed to leave on loan once more.
He could be brought in as a wing replacement, with Crysencio Summerville, Wilfried Gnonto, Luis Sinisterra and Jack Harrison all being linked away. West Brom midfielder Molumby is another name mentioned and he seems like someone capable of strengthening the club’s options in the middle of the park.
Tyler Adams and Marc Roca have attracted strong interest, while Brenden Aaronson is rumoured to be on Fulham's shortlist, ensuring options in the middle for this predicted team are limited. Sam Greenwood seems to be preparing for a big season at Elland Road, though, as he looks to take his career to the next level, while Dan James is returning from spending last season on loan at Craven Cottage and he could be a key man for the Whites.
Georginio Rutter, Patrick Bamford
The pressure will be on Rutter to excel at Elland Road this season. He’s still only 21 but the expectation that comes with that £35m price tag will be dialled up following his struggles last time around.
The drop in level might just play into his hands and he’ll be keen to hit the ground running and finally build some traction in a white shirt. Bamford will be keen to rediscover his best form this season, too, after a difficult campaign up front for the Whites.
It seems likely that Rodrigo will be leaving the club at this stage, with Victor Orta’s Sevilla being heavily rumoured, while Joe Gelhardt is another approaching a big year. The youngster will be looking to kick on and rediscover some traction himself following his loan at Sunderland.