Leeds United

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Season Guide
2021/2022

Leeds United

In


Junior Firpo (def) Barcelona; Jack Harrison (att) Manchester City – loan made permanent; Kristoffer Klaesson (gk) Vålerenga

Out


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.

Target


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.

Season Review
2020/2021

№9: Leeds United

After 16 years of absence Leeds made a triumphant return to the top flight. The Whites played unique and very attractive football all season under genius Bielsa. Leeds featured aggressive tactics, lots of risks, lots of chances created and fluid formations. Only their lack of depth prevented them from challenging for European qualification. Refusing to spend big after their promotion Leeds still strengthened with Raphinha and Rodrigo both boosting the attack, while Koch and Llorente were good when fit in defence, despite serious injury issues. Leeds hit the ground running with 2 wins in the first 3 rounds with striker Bamford having a memorable first ever top flight campaign and scoring goals regularly all season. Using expansive tactics, Leeds were involved in many goal-thrillers, but at least up until February their wins were evenly mixed with defeats. This was more than enough to keep them out of trouble but Leeds lost touch with the top 6 in December. The end to the season was excellent though (W7 D3 L1) and this secured top 10 finish and gave a great platform for coach Bielsa to build on for next season. All the players love playing for Bielsa and not many are likely to leave. Leeds can expect a much greater impact in defence from Koch and Llorente in their second seasons and 21-year-old goalkeeper Meslier is likely to be even better next term. At least 1 or 2 big summer signings are likely and many think that Leeds will be properly challenging for top 6 finish in 2021/22.


Player of the Season: Patrick Bamford

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