Coming into the season, most Leeds United fans could be forgiven for feeling pretty cocky. The Whites had just come off a spectacular first season back in the top-flight where a few results improved could have seen them playing in Europe. However, fans have been brought back down to Earth after a ruining defeat at Old Trafford, losing 5-1 to the old enemy. Then, a chastening draw with Everton took place where the team looked bedraggled at the back. Confidence is still high around the city, but results would be needed quickly to settle the team down.

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Like many Leeds fans, watching the 5-1 defeat to Manchester United at the weekend came with one glaring issue: midfield. United playmaker Paul Pogba had the entire pitch to himself, and spent much of the afternoon spraying passes around. His four assists on the day showed one thing: Leeds need more competition in the middle of the park. As the team was run off the pitch in Manchester, then, reports of another battle starting – this time on the transfer front – might have some Leeds fans excited again.

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Having built one of the most interesting teams in the history of Leeds United, Victor Orta and Marcelo Bielsa can have much to be proud of. Their outstanding work in recent years has seen the club lift from the mid-table of the second tier to playing a key role in the Premier League. Part of this success has come down to an outstanding hit rate in signings, delivering a team that Leeds fans can be justifiably proud of watching every time they take to the field. However, there is also a strong academy prospect feel to the club, with various players coming through the ranks to represent the fans in the stands.

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When it comes to summer signings and rumours, Leeds United fans in particular know how stressful things can be. Ever since Marcelo Bielsa arrived, too, Leeds have enjoyed a higher profile internationally. This leads to the clubs name being used to advertise new signings and potential pick-ups from across the game. From young Georgian wing wizards to playmakers from across La Liga, Leeds are regularly used now as part of transfer discourse. One player they have long been linked to, though, is already in England.

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While Ezgjan ‘Gianni’ Alioski might be moving on from Leeds, he will remain a beloved player for the club. He was a crucial part of both Premier League promotion and then their season of comfortable play in the top-flight. However, with a deal not agreed, the 29-year-old will depart on a free transfer. Fans were worried that links with Galatasaray might go somewhere, but it looks like this might not happen now due to a manner of reasons.

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As one of the most highly rated defenders in English football, Ben White has many admirers. The England international, who just missed out on the UEFA Euro 2020 squad, is rated as one of the best young defenders in the country after a wonderful season at Brighton and Hove Albion. Building on an excellent loan spell at Leeds United, White is now rated as one of the highest transfers of the summer to come.

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As a club with a clear eye on the future, Leeds United do not sign many players in their primes. Indeed, the marquee spending on Rodrigo Moreno last year felt totally out of sync with the usual moves made by Marcelo Bielsa and Victor Orta. However, one thing is clear: Leeds are, regardless of the player, typically looking to buy young and with potential for development. So far, most summer links have revolved around exciting talent with pace and quality on and off the ball. A new name has recently risen in the ranks, though, and that is Nottingham Forest prospect Brennan Johnson.

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With quite a strong Spanish flair to the Leeds United side, fans are never shocked when more Spaniards, or Spanish-speaking players, are suggested for a role at the club. However, despite returning to the ‘big time’ with the Premier League, some fans might be shocked at the size of player they are able to sign. Last summer, major signings like Diego Llorente and Rodrigo Moreno arrived, albeit to mixed results. Still, it was a clear example of how far Leeds have come under Victor Orta and co.

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With talk that Marcelo Bielsa will be staying for the 2021-22 season, Leeds United can finally get planning for an ambitious summer. Various names are being mentioned as players Leeds could buy, including most strongly the Dutch winger Noa Lang. However, there are various discussions around squad size. While fans want to see more squad depth, Bielsa has made clear in the past that he would rather run with a smaller squad and supplement squad places when needed with academy talent.

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