Welcome to Marching on Together

18 Jul 2016 01:14pm, by Shields53

Leeds United came out of their first pre-season friendly fixture with a win on Wednesday evening, as they defeated Irish side Shelbourne thanks to goals from Souleymane Doukara and Hadi Sacko. The duo had the away side two goals clear within the first fifteen minues, with new manager Gary Monk undoubtedly pleased with his first fixture in charge of the Whites. Having lost the reigning Football League Player of the Year, Lewis Cook to Premier League side Bournemouth just last week for a reported £10million, Monk is keen to quickly embed his new signings into the squad. Having lost promising youngsters in the form of Sam Byram, Jonny Howson and Fabian Delph over the past few seasons, supporters at Elland Road will certainly be hoping that Monk can have more success in the transfer market than his predecessors.

Despite a victory over a second division Irish team not quite setting pulses racing, Monk will have undoubtedly been positive to come away with a victory, as well as suffering no injuries during the ninety minutes. After Doukara gave Leeds an early lead inside three minutes, on loan Frenchman Sacko demonstrated his potential by quickly adding a second. Although Monk is still keen for further additions to his squad, big spending Leeds United are currently 11/1 in the football odds with bookmakers Coral to gain promotion this season, having finished in a dissapointing twelfth position last time around.

Former Oxford United striker Kemar Roofe looks to be the pick of the new squad members so far, having been chased by many teams throughout the football league as a result of his exploits last season. Fellow new forward Marcus Antonsson made his debut on Wednesday evening, with the Leeds faithful hoping the Swede can transfer his form from the Swedish Allsvenskan, where he was the top scorer before his departure.

Having been impressive for Northern Ireland during their Euro 2016 campaign, Stuart Dallas will be looking to continue his form into the new Championship season. Dallas joined Leeds back in 2015 from Championship rivals Brentford, and has found the back of the net on five occasions since.

Another Swede, Joel Ekstrand, has now reportedly missed out on a move to Elland Road, with Monk concerned about the defender’s physical condition following long term absences through injury. Monk and Massimo Cellino are undoubtedly still working on incomings to the club, with the back line in desperate need of reinforcements.

01 Jun 2016 04:04pm, by Shields53

It seems an odd time to be talking about summer arrivals when Cellino has just pulled the trigger on yet another Head Coach but if you want some reasons to be positive today, you can help to take your mind off managerial matters with some transfer gossip.

Whatever your views are regarding the controversial sponsorship deal with 32Red, the revenue generated should hopefully lead to some new faces and as Chief Executive Paul Bell said,

We look forward to building a strong relationship between our two brands both on and off the field as we seek to return to the Premier League.

So, if it’s a case of putting money where the proverbial mouth is, here are five potential candidates for whoever ends up in the Elland Road ejector seat.

Alex Pritchard

While the latest crop of Spurs youngsters heads to Euro 2016, an injury hit season leaves midfielder Alex Pritchard with an uncertain future. Reports have started to circulate suggesting that Tottenham are ready to sell and with the 23 year old still unproven at the top level, perhaps a drop into the Championship will help him to deliver on his long term potential.

Pritchard enjoyed that impressive campaign with Brentford in 2014-15 and he is a goal scoring midfielder – one who is particularly deadly from a set piece. The fee quoted is £8m and Spurs aren’t exactly a club open to much negotiation but perhaps this will test Leeds’ ambition and we’ll see exactly how far that sponsor money will travel.

Liam Bridcutt

Whoever comes in at Elland Road will spend much of the summer keeping the players that he wants and the next boss may face a big fight to hold on to Charlie Taylor. That could, in turn lead to a permanent deal for Bridcutt, who played 24 league games on loan here last season.

Taylor would be the preferred choice for most supporters but if the left back were to leave – and Sunderland are among the reported destinations – an approach for Bridcutt might start to make more sense.

Kyle Lafferty

Another player fancied by Evans was Northern Ireland international Lafferty but after an enquiry was made, the striker made his way to Birmingham City on a temporary basis. While it may take a leap of faith for any link with Evans to add up, this is another logical one.

Lafferty’s club Norwich are back in the Championship and there’s not exactly been a host of rumours linking the player with a Premier League side. His record at that level is a modest one but in weaker leagues his goals to games ratio picks up and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see more stories emerge.

Ashley Williams

So if it’s Garry Monk then clearly we’re going to be looking at Swansea players but have we added 2 + 2 to make 5 here? Williams is the Swans captain but by his own standards he had a poor season and has already stated that he is considering his future.

Will any premier league side want a 31 year old after an average campaign or could he follow his former manager to Elland Road?

Kyle Naughton

Naughton is another player whose career seems to have drifted at the Liberty Stadium and after failing to nail down a regular place at Spurs, he’s hardly been an ever-present for Swansea with 29 league appearances across two seasons.

Perhaps at 27 it’s time to drop down a division and if Monk does make the journey, Naughton is one of the more likely players to join him up at Leeds.