After three seasons in the Premier League, Leeds United were relegated back to the Championship on the last day of the 2022/23 season. Sadly, with this comes the potential to lose out on some crucial players.
A topsy-turvy campaign that saw three managers hold the reins at Elland Road ultimately ended in disappointment. While their attack could often find the net, Leeds’s defence left a lot to be desired. LUFC finished the 2022/23 campaign having conceded the most goals in the division.
As a result of this, it was hard for us to imagine that too many PL clubs may come calling for their defensive assets. However, a set of attack-minded talents could soon be on the radar of some clubs that outlasted Leeds in the Premier League…
Despite suffering some injury layoffs, Spanish forward Rodrigo had a solid 2022/23 for Leeds. He finished with his best single-season goal tally since joining the club, finding the net 15 times in all comps.
The 32-year-old’s versatility in attack could make him a useful option for a number of sides. Rodrigo’s best form, though, came when he hit five goals in four consecutive matches whilst playing as a centre-forward.
The main question is: will he stay in England or return to Spain? Rodrigo’s contract with Leeds expires in 2024, so Leeds may have to cash in now if they want to recuperate any of the £27m they paid Valencia in 2020.
Like Rodrigo, injuries disrupted Tyler Adams’ 2022/23 campaign. One thing is for sure, though – when he played, Leeds looked like a much more aggressive team.
Without Adams, Leeds took just eight points from their last 12 Premier League fixtures.
The USMNT midfielder led his side in tackles per game (3.7), whilst being in the top five in interceptions, too. Then, with the ball at his feet, Adams averaged a team-leading 55 passes per game at an 82% completion rate.
The midfielder was an RB Leipzig player just two years ago, playing in the Champions League. His quality as a ball winning CDM should convince some Premier League teams to consider picking up the Leeds star.
There seems to be a trend in that the (arguably) best players at Leeds United ended up injured for a lot of the 2022/23 season. Luis Sinisterra was one such unfortunate star.
Sinisterra arrived in Yorkshire last summer with a reputation as an electric winger. He had fired Feyenoord to the Europa Conference League Final and had registered 12 goals and 7 assists in the Eredivisie.
Unfortunately, though, the Colombian made just 13 Premier League starts for Leeds this campaign. But, when he played, Sinisterra chimed in with 5 goals. The winger was also a threat whenever he got on the pitch, averaging 1.5 shots per game (via Whoscored.com).
At 23, Sinisterra is still young and clearly has an abundance of talent. A Premier League team would surely consider taking him with the Championship discount. If not, maybe a move to a top-flight team in Europe is on the cards.
A regular fixture for Leeds throughout their time in the Premier League, we think that Jack Harrison deserves to stay in the top division.
Harrison was the main creative outlet for Leeds in 2022/23. He provided a team-best seven Premier League assists thanks to an average of 1.5 key passes per game. The 26-year-old then scored five goals to add to his attacking output, too.
For reference, 12 goal contributions are the same amount that Jack Grealish produced for Man City this season.
Now, Harrison’s high usage did see him lose the ball more than most of his teammates. Despite this, his tenacity and energy could be useful to a number of Premier League clubs next season.
So, who else may find a way out of Elland Road following Leeds’s relegation? A pair of young prospects in Wilfried Gnonto and Crysencio Summerville may find new clubs, for example.
In particular, Gnonto’s rise to the Italian national team may mean that he is a player in demand this summer.
For now, though, the club has a lot of decisions to make. Getting back to the topflight is never easy; and, with the Championship looking tougher than ever, Leeds will need a strong squad to return to the Premier League.
Featured image credit: Getty