The final Premier League spot has been booked following the EFL Championship playoff final. Fulham will be returning to the top flight, denying London rivals Brentford a first-ever season in the Premier League. The Cottagers will join West Brom and Leeds United in earning promotion back to England’s first tier. They will be replaced in the Championship by Norwich, Bournemouth, and Watford, who were relegated after poor seasons. Who do these newly-promoted teams need to sign to stay in the Premier League? I’ll be reviewing each team in a separate article! First up: Leeds United.
After 16 years, Leeds United are back in the Premier League. They did so in style, winning the league with 93 points and conceding just 35 goals. However, the team will be looking to improve the offense significantly, as they struggled to score goals at times. Leeds were linked to both Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but moves for them now appear unlikely. Leeds are reportedly looking for wingers, as many of their wingers arrived on loan and have all left. The Whites will also need more center backs, as the depth is looking thin. Fortunately, Leeds are strong in goal as Kiko Casilla and Illan Meslier kept 19 league clean sheets between the two of them. Wingback is another position that Leeds are strong in, with several young talents mixed in with experienced veterans.
In previous articles, I’ve identified Ariel Lassiter, Emi Buendia, and Angel Gomes as targets Leeds should pursue. Angel Gomes ended up signing with French club Lille and then being loaned out to Portugese club Boavista, but the other two could be great acquisitions. Lassiter has starred for Alajuelense and would be a great cheap option, and Buendia is proven in the Premier League but will cost quite a lot despite Norwich being relegated. Another player who got relegated from the Premier League, Watford winger Ismaila Sarr would also be a great addition. If Leeds were to bring a winger in on loan, young Barcelona talent Francisco Trincão will likely be loaned out, with Leicester reportedly interested.
There are many options for strikers that can be signed for free. Previously mentioned longtime PSG striker Edinson Cavani has been linked to Leeds United, but his wages will be high, and Cavani has interest elsewhere. Mario Mandzukic has experience all over the globe and recently terminated his contract with Qatari club Al Duhail, but is 34. If Leeds were to look into younger striker options, Moussa Sylla would be ideal. Once referred to as “The Next Mbappe”, Sylla was released recently by AS Monaco. Still just 20, Sylla has played 34 games for Monaco and could be a good fit for Leeds. Another option might be Bournemouth striker Joshua King, expected to leave following Bournemouth’s relegation.
The obvious choice for a free center back is Malang Sarr, but he’s unlikely to sign for Leeds as he linked strongly to Betis and Arsenal. Abdul Mumin is also a great option, as the 22-year old Nordsjaelland defender has done superbly in Denmark. Leeds would have to compete with other Premier League teams, mainly Sheffield United and Brighton, for the Ghanian’s signature. Some players could potentially join for cheap, like Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng or Norwich defender Ben Godfrey. Godfrey has just been relegated from the Premier League, and Boateng has become far less involved in Bayern’s defense.
Those are all great options for Leeds United, but that does not mean that they are expected. Leeds United’s famous fanbase will be backing the Whites, and with manager Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds will be strong candidates to stay up. Stay tuned for future articles about recommended signings for West Brom and Fulham!
Image Courtesy of Boxingfan1995 / CC BY-SA.
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