Leeds United’s central defensive department has seen some changes already this summer. Marcelo Bielsa is tinkering with his squad to get the right formula at the back.
Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson both remain Leeds players, for now at least. But two younger defenders have departed the club on permanent deals.
Hugo Diaz has been released by Leeds while Aapo Halme has completed a permanent move to Barnsley. Both players showed some promise but did not become regulars in the Leeds side.
Diaz captained the U23 team and was highly regarded. But the 22-year-old Spaniard only played one game for the Leeds first-team.
Meanwhile, Halme – a Finland U21 international – played a handful of games last season during the injury crisis. But Bielsa has allowed the 21-year-old to join Barnsley.
Leeds have acted to bring in a replacement already. Ben White has joined on a season-long loan from Brighton after impressing at Peterborough United last season.
But this is a short-sighted transfer strategy. White provides a solution at the back for the 2019/20 season but he is only on loan; he will return to Brighton next summer.
As Leeds looking to the future, they need to place more faith in their youngsters. Getting rid of two promising defenders and replacing them with a loanee does not prepare the club for next season and beyond.