Leeds United have been pretty busy already this summer. They’ve welcomed a new manager in David Hockaday, an £11million reimbursement from the sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham and a fresh transfer policy, inspired by owner Massimo Cellino, that’s obsessed with talents from Serie A.
But an incredibly disappointing 2-0 defeat to Millwall on the Championship’s opening weekend suggested there’s still work to be done at Elland Road. And Hockaday agrees, citing three areas of the squad that still require strengthening.
So with that in mind and the summer transfer window coming somewhat close to it’s conclusion, here’s a list of FIVE signings the Yorkshire outfit could still make before the end of deadline day.
Leeds United’s search to replace the fire-power of Ross McCormack has reportedly thrust them into the hands of Southampton’s want-away striker Billy Sharp.
But another option the Yorkshire outfit should be considering is a bid for Leicester City front-man Chris Wood. The towering Aussie was expected to join Wolves amid interest from several Championship sides but recent speculation suggests the Molineux deal has now broken down:
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It gives Leeds a fantastic opportunity to weigh in, and Wood certainly has the quality to address the goal-scoring gulf McCormack has left behind at Elland Road.
He’s netted 36 times in his last 107 Championship appearances, and measuring in at 6 foot 3, uses his height and strength well to bring others into the game.
Here’s a look at the former West Brom youngster in action:
An argument could be had to suggest Wood is too similar to Leeds target man Matt Smith, but at just 22 years of age he’s a fantastic prospect that the Whites would be wise to get their hands on.
Shane Duffy absolutely excelled on loan to Yeovil last season, in fact, the 37-game spell saw Whoscored.com rate the Everton youngster as the best player in the entire division, picking up an unbelievable nine Man of the Match awards:
But time is running out for the 22 year-old at Goodison and he admitted earlier this summer that pre-season performances could well go on to decide his immediate future with the Mersey outfit.
Roberto Martinez’ appraisal is yet to be revealed, but with England prodigy John Stones shining through, first team opportunities are likely to be slim next term either way.
Leeds currently only have two centre-halves on the books and that has pushed them towards rekindling a deal with Chesterfield’s Liam Cooper.
But the Republic of Ireland international would be a wise investment too. Just take a look at his incredible averages-per-match from last term:
And with just a year left on Duffy’s contract, the current window is the ideal time to convince the Toffees to sell.
Despite being personally scouted by Massimo Cellino last season and refusing to extend his contract at Rotherham United, Leeds appear to have cooled off their pursuit of Kieran Agard.
Which in my opinion is one monumental error, not least because the former Everton youngster destroyed League One last season, netting 26 times in all competitions to help Miners achieve promotion through the play-offs. Here’s a look at all his goals from the campaign:
The 24 year-old comes with blistering pace and can feature as a striker or out wide – two areas of the Leeds roster that desperately require an injection of youth and quality.
Furthermore, although Rotherham were able to extend Agard’s contract until 2015 through a club option clause, they will be powerless to stop the English forward walk out the exit door for free next summer.
Thus, League One’s third-top scorer will be available at a realistic price. But well-known interest from Bristol City could prove to be a stumbling block.
Matthew Lowton will be forever famed for this sensational goal which went on to trigger Aston Villa’s dramatic great escape at the end of the 2012/13 campaign:
But the 25 year-old’s Villa career has since taken a downward turn, in no small part due to a reported spat with Paul Lambert after turning up late for training in January this year.
The Villians boss denies a rift, but rumours persist that the defender could be ousted this summer, amid alleged interest from Middlesbrough.
Lowton – who spent five years at Leeds’ academy before moving to Sheffield United in 2005 – is primarily considered a right-back, an area Leeds don’t currently require drastic strengthening in. But in truth, he’s a utility man, capable at playing anywhere across the backline or in midfield.
The Whites roster could certainly do with some Premier League quality and versatility, which the Englishman possesses in abundance. Here’s a look at some of his highlights for the Birmingham outfit:
Entrenched hatreds aside, Manchester United’s Nick Powell would be an impressive addition to the Leeds roster for next season on a year-long loan.
The highly-rated Crewe product impressed in the Championship last year during a term-long stay with Wigan, as viewable below:
He also netted three times in six Europa League outings. Here’s a collection of the 20 year-old’s career highlights thus far:
Furthermore, Powell, who can operate in midfield or as a striker, doesn’t appear to be in Louis van Gaal’s plans, having been left out of the Red Devils’ squad for their pre-season tour of the USA.
Elland Road would be a perfect location for the 20 year-old to get some much-needed playing time, but Wigan are keen on his services permanently and Premier League side Leicester City have also been linked:
— RedCafe.net (@red_cafe) May 26, 2014