After 16 long years, Leeds United have finally returned to the Premier League.
Under Argentine manager Marcelo Bielsa, the club managed to win the Championship last season and booked their place in next seasons Premier League campaign. With the transfer window currently open, the club have found themselves trying to strengthen their squad ahead of the start of the new season on September 4th – and haven’t let the current financial struggles from COVID-19 keep them from doing so.
The club have found themselves linked with an abundance of players over the past few weeks, as well as already signing Jack Harrison on a further season-long loan, Illan Mesiler on a permanent transfer after spending last season on loan at the club, and 18-year-old Joe Gelhardt.
With the transfer rumours flying around as they usually do, players and clubs will be linked with each other from all over the world – but who would be the most realistic signings for Leeds this window?
Despite the permanent signing of French goalkeeper Illan Meslier – who had a fantastic end to last season with Leeds due to No.1 choice Kiko Casilla being banned for eight matches after racially abusing Charlton forward Jonathan Leko – with the Spaniard likely to leave the club this summer.
This departure means Leeds will be left with one experienced goalkeeper in Meslier, and the club have recently been linked with a move for Manchester United’s number 2 Sergio Romero.
The Argentinian has reportedly been looking for first-team football and Leeds have been linked with a move with manager and fellow countryman Bielsa a keen admirer of the shot-stopper, and he has a fantastic record in the games he’s played for United. Romero has 39 clean sheets in 61 appearances for the Red Devils and would be a welcome addition to Bielsa’s squad.
Another Argentinian that Bielsa could swoon over to Elland Road this summer is Norwich City’s Emiliano Buendia. After the Canaries were relegated last season, they have found themselves in a position that will likely see them sell some of their best performers from last year’s campaign – with one of those being Buendia.
The winger has a current market value of £13.05 million, and Norwich have reportedly valued him at around £20 million, a price that Leeds have said they are happy to meet, with Norwich also giving permission for the player to leave (via TEAMtalk).
It appears to be an Argentinian overload, but that’s what happens when you have one of the best Argentinian managers of all time in charge. The club have been linked with a move for Feyenoord centre-back Marcos Senesi, who joined the Dutch club in September last year.
His stats for last season are impressive too, with the 23-year-old averaging 2.4 tackles, 1.8 interceptions, 2.1 aerial duels won, and 3.6 clearances from his 16 games in the Eredivisie, as well as averaging a 7.07 WhoScored match rating in that time – and with a market value of just over £12 million, he could be a great move for Leeds this summer, with the on-loan Ben White now returning to his parent club Brighton, who will likely want to keep hold of him this season.
With Brentford narrowly missing out on the Premier League after their 2-1 defeat to Fulham in the Championship play-off final, the Bees will likely see the departure of their best players, including Algerian winger Saïd Benrahma.
Leeds are reportedly hopeful of a £20 million deal for the 26-year-old despite interest from West Ham and Aston Villa, who enjoyed a fantastic season last year scoring 17 goals with 9 assists from a number of positions, highlighting his versatility.
The player would of bee disappointed to miss out on the Premier League with Brentford, and the prospect of that with Leeds may prove enough for them to persuade Benrahma to sign.
Another Brentford starlet who will be desperate for Premier League football – Ollie Watkins enjoyed a sensational season for the Bees. After 49 Championship games, the 24-year-old finished the season with a fantastic 26 goals and has attracted the attention of many clubs in England.
Leeds are reportedly favourites to sign the striker, and could acquire his services for a cool £18 million thanks to a clause in his contract that was activated after the club failed to achieve promotion to the Premier League (via LeedsLive).
If Watkins were to join the club, he could strike up a great partnership with current No.9 Patrick Bamford, who himself has a keen eye for goal.