It remains to be seen whether Leeds United’s campaign will culminate in promotion to the Premier League.
Should the current season resume, Marcelo Bielsa’s side look to have a fantastic chance of getting across the line.
And given that, it would be no surprise if the Whites were already making summer plans that will be needed if they are going to be back playing at the highest level next term.
With that in mind, TBR has put together a list including one player from every current Premier League club Leeds should consider targeting this summer should they return to the Promised Land…
Arsenal – Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Bielsa seems to love versatile players, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles has proved his ability to adapt by playing at right-back for Arsenal for much of this season. The Daily Mail recently suggested that the midfielder could leave this summer.
Aston Villa – Orjan Nyland
Aston Villa is difficult to pick an option from. Dean Smith has a squad made up of a handful of star players, players who will surely stay to put this season right whatever happens, and those who have struggled in the top flight after arriving during their spell in the Championship.
With question marks surely surrounding Kiko Casilla’s future, Orjan Nyland gets the nod. The Norwegian could provide cover for Illan Meslier if Casilla leaves. He, of course, was superb at times during the Villans’ Carabao Cup run.
Bournemouth – Lewis Cook
Lewis Cook was sensational when he burst onto the scene at Leeds. If Bielsa could get the best out of him, he could be a game-changer for the Whites. Admittedly, he will not come cheap.
Brighton – Ben White
Burnley – Aaron Lennon
Burnley is another difficult club due to Sean Dyche working with a small squad. Their key men are unlikely to move with the Clarets flying high. So bringing Aaron Lennon back to bolster the depth within the squad could be a good move for all parties.
Chelsea – Ethan Ampadu
In truth, it is difficult to see Chelsea and Leeds agreeing another loan deal after last season. But if there is scope, a move for Ethan Ampadu could make a lot of sense.
He is currently on loan at RB Leipzig, and playing regularly in the Premier League may be the next step. Ampadu can play at centre-back or slightly further forward so may be ideal in Bielsa’s system.
Crystal Palace – Jeffrey Schlupp
Another club where a small squad makes this choice difficult. What Jeffrey Schlupp offers is versatility down the left flank.
Everton – Morgan Schneiderlin
It is easy to forget how good Morgan Schneiderlin was at Southampton at the start of his Premier League career. Bielsa has got amazing results out of much worse players.
Leicester City – Filip Benkovic
If Leeds lose Ben White this summer, Filip Benkovic could be a good addition on loan or on a permanent basis if Leicester are at all interested in a sale. He has played in Europe with Celtic and in the Championship with Bristol City. He appears to have plenty of potential.
Liverpool – Adam Lallana
Of course, there is probably little chance of this happening. But would it be a surprise to see Leeds pull off at least one marquee deal that leaves everyone stunned? With Bielsa at the helm, probably not.
Adam Lallana is set to leave Liverpool on a free transfer this summer (via BBC Sport). And playing regularly may appeal to the Englishman at this stage of his career. Wages will be another stumbling block to clear – he earns £110,000-a-week, according to Spotrac – but if he any showed interest in moving to Elland Road before talks began, he may be willing to take the massive pay-cut required.
Manchester City – Angelino
Angelino would arguably be an inspired loan addition if a deal is possible. The Spaniard has featured on a handful of occasions for Manchester City and is now impressing at RB Leipzig.
Again, Leeds may need some luck. But Angelino seems to boast one of Bielsa’s biggest fans as a teammate in Benjamin Mendy.
Manchester United – Timothy Fosu-Mensah
Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s contract at Manchester United expires this summer (via Transfermarkt). Manchester United do have the option to extend by a further year. But if he does leave, he could be a shrewd addition for Leeds.
He can play in defence or holding midfield.
Newcastle United – Karl Darlow
Like Orjan Nyland, a player of Karl Darlow’s calibre could be needed if Leeds sell Casilla. He is a good goalkeeper who has plenty of top flight experience at St James’ Park. The Shields Gazette has suggested his contract does not expire until next summer, but he may still be available for a reasonable fee.
Norwich City – Emi Buendia
Leeds missed out on Emi Buendia before his move to Norwich City (via The Telegraph). And they should attempt to put that right this summer if the Canaries are relegated. He has more than a piece of magic up his sleeve, having provided seven assists this season.
Sheffield United – Luke Freeman
Leeds wanted Luke Freeman in January, according to The Sun on Sunday (5/1; page 61). And they should consider a fresh move this summer if promoted. He was previously sensational against the Whites before his move to Bramall Lane.
Southampton – Che Adams
Leeds failed with three bids for Che Adams in January, with the highest seeing the Whites offer to take the striker on loan and agree to a £20 million fee to make his move permanent if promoted (via Yorkshire Evening Post).
Those failed bids suggest Leeds should have little luck this summer either. But perhaps the Saints may be more willing to listen to offers given that they have a better chance to sign a replacement.
Leeds could be well-stocked for attacking options should Jean-Kevin Augustin’s loan become a permanent deal. But should Augustin leave, Adams should perhaps come back onto the radar.
Tottenham Hotspur – Danny Rose
The last ex-Leeds player on this list is Danny Rose. In truth, it would be a surprise if he played for Tottenham again having left on loan in January.
His Spurs contract expires next summer (via Transfermarkt). So perhaps a sale in the coming months could be on the cards. And despite Stuart Dallas’s outstanding form, Leeds may be looking for more quality and depth at left-back.
Watford – Ben Foster
Meslier arguably has the talent to establish himself as Leeds’s number one before next season. But should the Frenchman look not quite ready, signing Ben Foster could be inspired.
The Telegraph reports his contract at Watford expires this summer and he could leave. A move to Elland Road would be a surprise, but he would arguably be a fantastic addition.
West Ham – Josh Cullen
The Daily Mail recently reported that Leeds want Josh Cullen. He has been excellent in the Championship with Charlton, and could be a shrewd signing for the Whites.
Wolves – Ryan Bennett
Wolves are flying high with a small squad. So it has been another difficult selection. Ryan Bennett gets the nod because his future looks uncertain after being loaned to Leicester City in January.
He is a solid centre-back who made 34 top flight appearances for Nuno Espirito Santo’s men last season.