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Football News: Team Review - Leeds United

Team Review - Leeds United
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Team Review - Leeds United

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League Position: 15th


Ins And Outs

Daniel James from Manchester United
Jack Harrison from Manchester City
Junior Firpo from Barcelona
Kristoffer Klaesson from Valerenga

Helder Costa to Valencia (loan)
Ezgjan Alioski to Al Ahli
Barry Douglas to Lech Poznan
Ian Poveda to Blackburn Rovers (loan)
Mateusz Bogusz to UD Ibiza (loan)
Pablo Hernandez to CD Castellon
Leif Davis to Bournemouth (loan)
Kiko Casilla to Elche (loan)
Gaetano Berardi released
Ouasim Bouy to Al-Kharaitiyat



Illan Meslier
Kristoffer Klaesson

Meslier is proving himself to be a top class keeper, who pulls out some incredible saves at times and it is surprising he is not getting much media attention. So long as he stays fit, Leeds have absolutely no issues in the goalkeeping department at all. The problem is that they have just one back up, another youngster, who is an unknown quantity, to me at least. Only time will tell if he is capable of stepping up if required.



Diego Llorente
Robin Koch
Pascal Struijk
Liam Cooper
Charlie Cresswell
Junior Firpo
Liam McCarron
Luke Ayling
Stuart Dallas
Cody Drameh

The defensive unit has been devastated by injuries so far this season, which is in large part why they have struggled so badly. Though it should be pointed out that the youngsters that have stepped in have not let the team down at all. In fact, they have all looked very impressive when called upon, but the constant changes required due to injuries has meant the defence has been unsettled badly. Unless they can sort out their injury problems, they will be in danger of being kept down in a relegation battle all season.



Kalvin Phillips
Mateusz Klich
Jamie Shackleton
Adam Forshaw

The return to fitness, and immediate form, of Forshaw has been a huge relief for Leeds as they had gambled on him coming back. They are very light and short of bodies in midfield, with players often having to fill in from other areas, which then leaves those areas having to rejig to cover the gaps. It is going to really struggle to cope over the busy Christmas and New Year period, which is a big worry with the injury struggles they already have in defence. Their whole set up is very overly reliant on Phillips as well, which is another worry as they do not look anything like the same side without him at the base of midfield.



Daniel James
Jack Harrison
Crysencio Summerville
Tyler Roberts
Patrick Bamford
Joe Gelhardt
Sam Greenwood

Like many other teams that struggle for consistency, they lack a goalscorer, even when Bamford is fit. While he scored a number of goals last season, Bamford also missed a ridiculous number of very good chances that he should have slotted home. There is only one player of real quality in this group, the Brazilian winger Raphinha, plus a couple of young prospects in Gelhardt and Greenwood. They needed to recruit better than James, who has shown no signs of being a Premier League footballer at all, and Harrison, who is far too inconsistent for a player that should be entering his prime.


Manager: Marcelo Bielsa

Last season he managed to get them to vastly outperform their level after promotion from the Championship. It was still largely the team that without him was seen as midtable Championship mediocrity. The recruitment has still not provided him with a Premier League level squad to work with and that has made it difficult to cope with injuries. Like Klopp last season, his attempts to deal with an injury crisis has exacerbated the problems, rather than solved them. The constant shoehorning of key players into positions that take them away from where they are at their best is a mistake. Llorente, Phillips and Raphinha should be immovable objects in their selection, with them only playing in their best positions, then build the rest of the team around them. Otherwise he is in danger of undoing all the good work he has done in the eyes of fans.



Leeds have a good first eleven, but their squad is extremely weak, and they need to find a finisher. They can just about get away without a goalscorer when everyone is fit due to the chances they create, but as soon as injuries hit the drop in quality is remarkable and chances become a lot less frequent. Without someone to sniff out half chances and put them in the back of the net, Leeds are always going to be in danger of a bad run. Like some other Premier League sides, such as Brighton, their play can mask that missing forward at times, but it is always an issue waiting to bite back and cost the team points. Added to that, they need more quality players in the squad, while they wait for the youngsters to develop and to supplement them for the future. I am very much in favour of leaving gaps for good young players to get their chances, but you have to have options to take them out of the team if they struggle so they can go away and learn from their mistakes. Leeds just lack options in their squad, so they are having to rely on players that are not looking over their shoulders after a bad game. There is no one keeping them on their toes.


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Written by Tris Burke December 01 2021 01:27:00


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