Leeds United under Marcelo Bielsa have done exceptionally well in their first season back in the top-flight of English football. They are fighting for a top-half finish in the Premier League table and the battle could go down to the last matchweek of the season. Historically, being a massive club in England, it was imperative that they stayed in the league after gaining promotion in the previous year. Now it’s time to kick on and start preparing for the Premier League 2021-22 season.
The owners and the supporters of the club have huge ambitions with the club. They believe that Bielsa is the right man to lead them forward and get their European glory days back to Elland Road. What should the Whites do in the summer market to bridge the gap between them and the European spots in Premier League 2021-22? Let’s find out.
This has been a season where injuries have slowed the progress of various clubs and Leeds have been on the receiving end of the same as well. Their two new centre-backs signed in the summer, Robin Koch and Diego Llorente both have had an injury-ridden season and the team has fallen short on this position time and again in the season. Having to get Luke Ayling to fill the gap in the centre-back position isn’t good enough and the Whites should look to further bolster this position in the summer. Getting a defender with some physical presence is important for the club as he will help them deal with set-pieces as well which has been the Achilles heel for them this season.
Ezgjan Alioski is the only proper left-back in the squad and quite often his lack of defensive presence has left the team exposed in that area of the pitch. The cover for that position is weak and the team needs someone to give competition to Alioski in that position in Premier League 2021-22. A player who has a bullet of a left foot and defensively isn’t a liability is someone the team desires.
BACKUP FOR KALVIN PHILLIPS
We’ve often seen in the season that when Kalvin Phillips has been missing from the XI in the middle of the park, the team has failed to impose themselves in the game. Phillips is the one who pulls the strings in the midfield and there isn’t anyone in the squad who has similar abilities like him. Bielsa loves having his number six player dictate the pace of the game and break up opposition attack time and again as well. The management needs to find somebody who can do a similar job when Phillips is unavailable.
COMPETITION FOR THE FORWARD LINE
Raphinha has been a star in his first season in the Premier League. Patrick Bamford has shown that he is a top drawer striker in the league given his goal returns and Jack Harrison provides the intensity with his pressing and comes up with some wonderful goals. The backups for them however aren’t quite at the same level as the starters. Helder Costa and Tyler Roberts have failed to make an impression on the team so far, however, both of them are young and are the ones for the future. Club record signing Rodrigo has had a difficult first season in England because of COVID-19 and a few injuries. Bielsa demands a high-intensity style of football and needs a proper squad to compete throughout the season. Getting someone who could give competition to the forward line and someone who can make an impact off the bench seems important for the Whites.
IMPROVE THE LONDON RECORD
Leeds under Marcelo Bielsa have failed to win even a single game in London. It’s as if the trip to London isn’t one which the team looks forward to and starts off on the back foot. This has to improve in Premier League 2021-22 if they have ambitions of playing in European competitions in the near future.
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