The Whites have four senior centre-backs with their deals set to expire at the end of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign, with Pascal Struijk, Liam Cooper, Robin Koch, and Diego Llorente all in that bracket.
Llorente and Cooper will both be in their 30s by that point and Marsch may decide that moving them on and replacing them with youngster options may be the way to go, or the players themselves – including Koch and Struijk – may decide that they do not want to stay.
Either way, Leeds could find themselves needing to sign another centre-back either next summer, if they opt to cash in on one of them instead of allowing them to leave for nothing, or in 2024.
However, Marsch could prevent Victor Orta from needing to spend millions in the transfer market if he is able to unearth 18-year-old talent Kris Moore from the academy side.
U23 head coach Mark Jackson revealed that he and his staff never doubted the youngster’s quality and backed him to make the step up to the U23 side at the age of 17, saying:
“He’s been training with the group now since the start of pre-season, and last season as well. We had no doubts in Kris’ ability to deal with the situation and the step up and he did fantastically well against a tough opponent in Street up top, who was physical and good in the air. I thought we coped well with it.”
These quotes show that the staff at Elland Road have a lot of faith in his maturity and ability, which bodes well for a potential step up to the first-team in the future.
“Encouraging display, leading the team from centre-back. Moore maintained his positioning well through the game, snuffing out danger by simply ensuring he was in the right place at the right time.”
The gem also caught the eye in a 3-2 win over Oldham in the EFL Trophy last season. He earned a SofaScore rating of 7.00 as he won three of his four individual duels, made five clearances, and completed 86% of his passes.
Moore, who was named on the bench in the Premier League during Marcelo Bielsa’s reign, is a promising young player who has shown signs of having the potential to make the step up to the first team, with his accelerated progress at youth level.
Therefore, Marsch could save Orta millions by bringing the youngster through to the senior side and offering him a chance to prove that he can be a viable option for many years to come.