Leeds United, under Andrea Radrizzani have now spent close to £15 million on new players this summer and it’s still only mid-July. This week has been huge for the club with arguably the two most sought-after players on the list signing four-year-deals. Add to that a few others and Thomas Christiansen is getting the backing any head-coach deserves at Leeds United.
You have to think that Garry Monk didn’t quite realise the money that Andrea Radrizzani was willing to spend at the club. The fact that Victor Orta is pulling the strings in regards to these deals may well have put him off but as Orta said he wouldn’t sign anyone that Christiansen didn’t actually want, because they simply just wouldn’t play. The deals of Samu Saiz and Ezgjan Alioski combined were around £6.5 million and both players come with bubbling reputations from abroad. These deals are gambles in a way, but you only have to look at Pontus Jansson to see the value for money if you shop abroad, and if the correct scouting and homework is done, why not?
Both deals represent Leeds power in the transfer market. Real Betis and Eibar from La Liga, and Basel and Atalanta have lost out on these two players as they came to Leeds United on big money compared to the others with offers on the table. Add that to the deals for Mateusz Klich, who cost £1.6 million, Felix Wiedwald and Caleb Ekuban who cost around £600k each and the permeent deals of Pontus Jansson and Hadi Sacko who cost around £5 million combined and you have a sum larger than any spent on a Leeds squad outside of the Premier League days. The fact the deals have been done quickly and in time to add more where needed without being under pressure means we are in a very nice position.
Due to these signings there was always going to be casualties and the names are starting to filter through. Guiseppe Bellusci has basically been released by the club, Toumani Diagoura and Lee Erwin have both been told to find other clubs and Lewie Coyle and Baily Peacock-Farrell have joined League One sides Oldham and Fleetwood Town on loan. Both youngsters are highly rated by the club and signed new three-year extensions before departing. More will follow, Luke Murphy re-joined Burton for the season and I think another central midfielder will have to leave due to numbers in the middle of the park. Ronaldo Vieira committed his future to the club and has a tough season ahead with all of the competition.
The squad heading to Austria seems strong barring the central defensive positions.
Leeds First-Team Squad As It Stands
Goalkeeprs – Rob Green, Felix Wiedwald, Marco Silvestri
Defenders – Luke Ayling, Gaetano Berardi, Vurnon Anita, Liam Cooper, Pontus Jansson, Tyler Denton
Central Midfielders – Liam Bridcutt, Eunan O’Kane, Ronaldo Vieira, Kalvin Phillips, Mateusz Klich
Wingers/Attacking Midfielders – Ezgjan Alioski, Hadi Sacko, Pablo Hernandez, Souleymane Doukara, Kemar Roofe, Staurt Dallas, Samu Saiz
Strikers – Chris Wood, Marcus Antonsson, Caleb Ekuban