Junior Firpo (def) Barcelona; Jack Harrison (att) Manchester City – loan made permanent; Kristoffer Klaesson (gk) Vålerenga
Pablo Hernández (mid) – released; Barry Douglas (def) – released; Ezgjan Alioski (def) – released; Ouasim Bouy (mid) – released; Kiko Casilla (gk) Elche – on loan; Eunan O'Kane (mid) – released; Gaetano Berardi (def) – released; Mateusz Bogusz (mid) UD Ibiza – on loan
Despite having not played Premier League football since 2003/04, Leeds United returned to the top-flight in style under genius Marcelo Bielsa. The Argentine imposed his highly attractive style of football on the team, who finished ninth in their first EPL campaign in 16 years. Leeds were extraordinary in the last stretch of the season, when they registered seven wins and two draws in 10 games to finish just three points away from Europe.
Starting left-back Ezgjan Alioski departed the club, but Leeds have found his replacement in Barcelona’s talented wing-back Junior Firpo. Pablo Hernández and Ouasim Bouy were also released, while second-choice goalkeeper Kiko Casilla moved on loan to Elche and was replaced by Norway’s U-21 shot-stopper Kristoffer Klaesson.
Meanwhile, Leeds have managed to keep hold of their star players as Jack Harrison, who scored eight goals and produced 10 assists last term, has made his move from Manchester City permanent. Patrick Bamford is expected to lead Leeds’ attack again, after scoring as many as 17 goals last season. Bielsa has also turned Kalvin Phillips into a dominant midfielder, one which became a starter for England in the Euro.
Both players and fans are enjoying the team’s high-octane style of play, as Leeds took superior opposition by surprise with their direct football, which has been their main strength under Bielsa in the last few seasons.
Leeds improved defensively during last term, but their lack of depth in the midfield and fullback positions, particularly at right-back, prevented them from competing for a European position.
Another top-half finish should be guaranteed for Leeds. Should they add depth to the squad and strengthen key positions, they can challenge for a top-six spot.