This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
Leeds United’s summer transfer window last season was a bit of a disaster. All in all, they brought in six first-team players in Barry Douglas, Patrick Bamford, Jack Harrison, Izzy Brown, Jamal Blackman and Lewis Baker. Half of these players didn’t make much of an effect at Elland Road, while some of the others had very slow starts.
In order to have a more successful campaign this time around, United must be more effective in the transfer market, and they seem to be on their way to doing that.
A number of these players were unable to have an immediate impact at Elland Road due to the timing of their signings meaning that they didn’t have a full pre-season with the club to learn Marcelo Bielsa’s system.
Baker, Brown and Blackman appeared in just 13 league games between them, while Bamford and Harrison had a very slow start, with the former scoring only one goal before December, and the latter contributing to just one goal before 2019.
Bielsa is a coach whose style will be unfamiliar to a number of new arrivals, so it is vital for the Argentine to have a lengthy pre-season with his players before they can be effective for his team. Leeds left it late last summer, and by July 15th they had made only one signing, until Blackman became their second addition.
After a year of working with the 61-year-old, it seems that Victor Orta has learnt his lesson and he is getting his work done early.
Jack Harrison, Ben White and Liam McCarron have already signed for the club, and as many as four new signings could join this week with the transfers of Helder Costa, Rafa Mujica and the return of Jack Clarke all expected to be finalised.
First-team training only resumed last week for the Whites, so these new arrivals won’t have missed much.
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This time last year Bielsa was implementing fresh ideas into a group of players who he had never managed, so any latecomers would have missed vitally important training sessions, but due to the fact the Whites are getting their business done early this time around that shouldn’t be the case.