Football fans love to hear the news that their team is about to go and splurge a few pounds on new signings. For Leeds United fans, the previous summer brought high profile names including the likes of Rodrigo Moreno. However, while some of the major summer signings have failed to fire, it has not stopped Leeds or their Director of Football, Victor Orta, from being ambitious in the 2021 transfer window.
Indeed, those close to the club, including Phil Hay of The Athletic, the sites Leeds correspondent, expects an impressive number of signings to arrive in the summer. Indeed, Hay, who has strong connections at the club, suggested as many as five new players could arrive in the summer to give Bielsa the numbers he needs to build a genuinely competitive top-flight side.
The main interesting point that was made, though, is that Marcelo Bielsa is not a fan of major overhauls. Therefore, it might be all about trying to land as many quality new players as they can. One name who might help to raise space for a new player and funds, though, is Helder Costa.
Previously, we have linked the Portuguese with a swift exit after only signing for Leeds permanently last summer. It is expected, though, that he will be offered to clubs in England and in Spain in a bid to shorten squad numbers. Therefore, expect to see Leeds make some moves to get rid of squad bloat as well as bring in a few quality players.
Quality over quantity – what do Leeds need?
The challenge for Leeds is making sure that Bielsa is not left with an overly large squad. With a lack of European involvement next year, Leeds will not need a massive squad. However, the intense nature of the Bielsa game means that players are often prone to being injured due to the demands on their bodies.
As such, we could see Leeds look to bring insurance in with another few bodies on top of the squad size for this season. Some expect the club to remove three from the first-team and bring in five, offering a stronger squad and a deeper squad.
However, as Hay noted in his writing, signing players of the quality that would be wanted at Leeds is a financial challenge. At five signings of a similar profile to players linked, such as Rodrigo de Paul, that would see Leeds easily spend the most they have in a single summer in their entire history.
Even with some major exits and removal of squad filler talent, that could leave Leeds dangerously close to repeating mistakes of the past. Given the prudence and the intelligence in most signings of the Bielsa era, though, it is unlikely that Leeds will look to sign off on any gambles as was the way of the pre-Bielsa days.
Things are looking up for Leeds, and the arrival of even more talent in the summer could make European qualification a reality next season.