Rodrigo (att) Valencia; Robin Koch (def) Freiburg; Illan Meslier (gk) Lorient – loan made permanent; Helder Costa (mid) Wolves – loan made permanent; Jack Harrison (mid) Man City – loan extension; Joe Gelhardt (att) Wigan; Cody Drameh (def) Fulham U23; Jay-roy Grot (att) Vitesse – end of loan;
Ben White (r) (def) Brighton – end of loan; Gaetano Berardi (sp) (def) released; Will Huffer (gk) released; Laurens De Bock (def) Zulte Waregem – on loan; Jean-Kevin Augustin (att) RB Leipzig – end of loan;
After 16 torturous years in the lower divisions, the fallen giants Leeds are finally back in the top flight. Bielsa’s men did it in style too as they were outright winners of The Championship, with the football on display impressive and worthy of the consistent results. Winning games by single-goal margins and making themselves very hard to beat were the main features of the results in the 2 years under Bielsa.
The biggest signing in the off-season so far is striker Rodrigo, who has been a prolific scorer in La Liga and Europe for several seasons now, which means that Leeds now have a leader of the attack that certainly has 20+ goals in him. Leeds also kept wingers Costa and Harrison, with at least 3-4 new names expected to join between now and October.
Under mastermind Bielsa Leeds use flexible tactics, but always the back line consist of 4-men. Bielsa’s main formation is 4-1-4-1, but he regularly shifts to 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 when needed. The outlook right now suggests that, when Leeds opt to use 2 up front, Bamford will be partnering Rodrigo.
The team’s biggest strength is their manager Bielsa, not only he has taught coaches like Pep Guardiola everything they know about this business, but his analytical mind means that, no matter who is selected to play, Leeds are always ready and competitive. Also with so many coaches taught by Bielsa down the years he has rich connections and uses this well to attract quality signings.
Main weakness right now is the lack of depth in defence where just 4 typical centre-backs are on the books right now, with 2 of those teenagers. Leeds already added German Koch to their back line and he’s expected to become captain Cooper’s main partner in defence this season. The lack of depth is serious issue though.
Back where they feel they belong Leeds aim at a top 10 finish, which considering their legendary manager should be achievable goal.