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Should Leeds United consider selling Samuel Saiz this summer?

The Spanish playmaker has been in poor form for Leeds United since the turn of the year.

Mathew Coull

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Photo: Getty Images

Leeds United have had a tough 2018. After narrowly missing out on promotion last season, it looked as though Leeds were set to be in the mix for the play-offs again this season under Thomas Christiansen.

However, they suffered an enormous dip in form at the turn of the year. Leeds have won just three times since the most recent victory coming against Barnsley at the weekend. The manager has been replaced and plenty of the Leeds first-team have performed below par.

One player whose form dipped off since January was Spanish playmaker Samuel Saiz.

(Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

The summer signing from Huesca started the season with a bang. He was looking like becoming a cult hero among the Leeds faithful with his mercurial performances. But then it all went wrong.

Saiz was suspended for six games at the start of the year, following a spitting incident in the FA Cup defeat to Newport County.

During his absence, Leeds suffered and fans were excitedly awaiting his return to first-team action. Many felt that once Saiz was back, Leeds might recapture some of their best form.

That has simply not been the case. Saiz has struggled to find anywhere near his best form since returning to the Leeds fold. At the weekend, as Leeds defeated Barnsley, it seemingly came to a head.

With the Whites 2-1 ahead Paul Heckingbottom decided to pull Saiz from the action, bringing on the more defensive-minded Adam Forshaw.

That decision did not go down well with the Spaniard. He stropped his way off the field before kicking a water bottle in frustration.

It was just another example of Saiz’s often troubling attitude and the question must be asked, would Leeds happily sell Saiz this summer?

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Since the turn of the year, the Spanish star has looked nowhere near as good as he did in the first half of the season. Saiz has struggled under the new management and has not scored since November.

The incident v Newport showed that Saiz can be a liability but if he had returned in style, fans would have quickly forgiven him. That has not been the case and Leeds fans are now questioning whether he should still be at the club.

Leeds will need to make some big changes in the summer if they are to challenge for promotion next season. One of those will have to be a huge attitude change from perhaps their most talented player.

Whilst Leeds should not be actively looking to get rid of Saiz, there will undoubtedly be some interest in his services following the impressive start to his campaign.

If his attitude does not change, then a handsome offer would be hard to reject from the Leeds hierarchy.

Derby County

Sam Winnall to Stoke looks inevitable after Gary Rowett arrival

Josh Kerr

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Sam Winnall
Photo: Getty Images

Gary Rowett’s move to Stoke City from Derby County has added further fuel to the fire regarding Sam Winnall’s future and a potential move to Staffordshire for the new season.

The two have previously been together during their time at Burton Albion, and Rowett opted to bring the 27-year-old to Pride Park on a loan deal this season.

Winnall scored four goals in 16 Championship games for Sheffield Wednesday after arriving at Hillsborough in January 2017 from local rivals Barnsley.

He was underwhelming for the Owls initially and hence the club decided to loan him to his former manager.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Nonetheless, he has enjoyed some success at Derby this season, winning the club’s Goal of the Season award for his memorable strike against Ipswich Town back in December.

Injury has restricted Winnall to just six Championship starts but despite his time spent on the sidelines, the fans have enjoyed the Englishman’s time at Pride Park and are crying out for him to stay.

Nonetheless, Rowett’s move to Stoke was the icing on the cake for Wednesday supporters and unsurprisingly talk of a switch to the Bet365 Stadium has surfaced on social media.

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Leeds United

Leeds United should bring in free agent Nick Townsend

The former Barnsley goalkeeper has worked under Leeds United boss Paul Heckingbottom previously.

Mathew Coull

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Leeds United are said to be in the hunt for a new goalkeeper this summer. Last summer’s recruits Felix Wiedwald and Andy Lonergan both proved unsuccessful and could find themselves leaving this summer. The former is expected to return to Germany whilst the latter was offered to Sunderland in the winter but pulled the plug on the deal.

At the moment, youngster Bailey Peacock-Farrell is the number one stopper at Leeds and he has performed valiantly since being given the role.

But new recruits are expected this summer, with the likes of Angus Gunn and David Stockdale already being mentioned.

Leeds should, however, look closer to home and bring in Nick Townsend this summer.

Many Leeds fans will now be shouting who? The 23-year-old stopper is currently a free agent, with his contract at Barnsley being terminated this summer.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

He joined Barnsley from Birmingham City in 2015 and went on to play 18 games for the club in three seasons, including some under the guidance of current Leeds boss Paul Heckingbottom.

Heckingbottom was a big fan of Townsend’s, who he trusted as his main back-up stopper during his time at Oakwell. Townsend, who made the news after injuring his finger in a training ground bust-up with a team-mate earlier this year, is now on the hunt for a new challenge.

Leeds could be the perfect location. Of course, Townsend should not be considered a number one goalie. But if Leeds are to lose both Wiedwald and Lonergan this summer then they may need two new keepers in the door.

Townsend is a reliable option when called upon and one who Heckingbottom knows well and can trust.

Bringing him into the Leeds squad would be a fine piece of business as it would certainly strengthen what is a weak area of the Leeds United first-team.

It is not a deal that will blow you away, but bringing in Townsend would be a smart piece of business for Leeds United.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

Giorgian de Arrascaeta signing would represent transfer of intent from Wolves

Josh Kerr

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Photo: getty Images

According to Fox Sports Brazil, Wolverhampton Wanderers are weighing up a bid for World Cup bound-midfielder Giorgian de Arrascaeta.

The Uruguay international, an attacking midfielder with 13 caps for his national side, is attracting the attention of many European sides who are hoping to lure him away from the Brazilian league ahead of the summer World Cup.

Wolves fans will be delighted to see themselves linked with another established name in world football and will look to the success of star man Ruben Neves as inspiration for the move.

The former Porto star was a revelation at Wolves this season, scoring six goals along the way, and was nominated for both the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Season in the Championship. Neves’s success will give fans every bit of hope that De Arrascaeta would have a similar fate should he sign for the high-achieving club.

The current Cruzeiro player has spent the last three seasons playing in Brazil’s top flight, making 73 appearances and scoring 16 goals, after making the move from Defensor Sporting in Uruguay.

(Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)

The midfielder’s attacking flair could match that of Diego Jota, whose permanent deal from at Molineux, from Atletico Madrid, hasn’t yet been confirmed.

He would be the perfect addition for the Midlands outfit as they look to restablish themselves in England’s top-flight and ensure their continued Premier League status.

It is important that the deal gets done quickly as De Arrascaeta will soon be turning his attention to the World Cup and interest in his services is only likely to increase.

He signed a contract extension in February which runs until 2021, but the luxury of the Premier League may be enough to tempt the young Uruguayan to the Championship winners this summer.

If he signs, he would prove another useful attacking option, especially if Jota remains at the club.

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