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Leeds United round-up: Denton wanted by Cellino, Cabit wanted and Ekuban future

Mathew Nash

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Cellino wants Denton

Massimo Cellino may now complete a double raid of his old cub this summer, according to reports. The controversial former Leeds chairman is now the owner of Serie B side Brescia. They are closing in on the signature of underused Swedish strike Marcus Antonsson, who is believed to be on his way out of the club.

Now, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Cellino wants 22-year-old Leeds left-back Tyler Denton at Brescia.

The deal would reportedly be a loan move, with the view to making it permanent after one season.

Denton has failed to progress into a full-time regular at Elland Road.

(Photo credit should read PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Force of Cabit

The Daily Mirror (liveblog, 19/06/18, 13:48) is reporting that Marcelo Bielsa has his first target as Leeds United manager. The player in question is AC Ajaccio left-back Manuel Cabit.

The 25-year-old is out of contract this summer and Leeds are said to be battling with three French sides for his signature.

Leeds need to bring in a new left-back this summer, with it a problem area throughout last season for the club.

Ekuban to go

Leeds could let Caleb Ekuban leave this summer. A report from Ghana Soccernet has confirmed the player is not in Marcelo Bielsa’s plans for next season and could be let go.

The Italian striker joined last summer from Chievo after an impressive season on loan in Albanian football.

However, he has struggled to find any form in West Yorkshire and could now depart.

Leeds United

Leeds United round-up: Ayling scores again, Roberts debut and Hamer wanted

All the latest news and gossip from Leeds United.

Mathew Nash

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Ayling again

Leeds United drew 1-1 with Southend United in their latest pre-season friendly this afternoon. The game at Roots Hall was another test for Leeds, who have previously beaten Forest Green and draw with York City this summer.

Leeds conceded a soft goal from a corner kick which was headed in by the unmarked Harry Lennon.

Luke Ayling got the equaliser before half-time. He applied pressure to the Southend defence before scoring his second goal in as many games this summer.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Roberts debut

There was good news on the injury front. Tyler Roberts finally made his Leeds debut. Signed from West Brom in the winter the attacker suffered a broken foot early in his Leeds career and has been waiting ever since to get his chance. He came on as a late substitute.

Hamer targeted

Leeds are keen on the signature of Oldham Athletic defender Tom Hamer. According to a report from The Sun on Sunday (22/07; page 58), Leeds are preparing a bid for the 18-year-old talent.

They will, however, face competition from Premier League sides for the player. A fee of £200,000 has been mentioned as Leeds’ potential opening bid.

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Three things learnt from Leeds’ pre-season draw with Southend: Depth needed

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Photo: Getty Images.

It was a glorious Sunday afternoon pre-season action at Roots Hall as Leeds United traveled to face Southend United in a game which ended with the spoils shared after Luke Ayling cancelled out Harry Lennon’s header.

The Shrimpers took the lead at a corner but Leeds were on top throughout the first half of action, though they struggled to turn possession into goals until Ayling equalised.

Find out what we can take from the game below…

Signings are needed sooner rather than later

Pre-season friendlies are known for rafts of substitutions and changes, but not with Leeds United. A grand total of one substitution across two friendlies, against Forest Green Rovers and Southend United, shows just how shallow Marcelo Bielsa’s squad is.

Only four players made the bench for the trip to Essex given that the under 23’s were in action on Saturday and the fresh legs were evident late on as Southend began to dominate more of the game.

If Bielsa isn’t giving reserve players a chance in pre-season, he clearly doesn’t feel that they have something to offer for the league campaign either. Signings are needed desperately.

Set pieces need major improvement

Southend did not pose a huge threat in open play for much of the tie, but every time they forced a corner out of Leeds it looked like the ball could end up in the back of the net.

Harry Lennon had it easy as he headed into the net in the first half under little pressure and there were plenty of other opportunities too, with John White among those to go close for the Shrimpers.

Such organisational matters need to be resolved before the season gets started otherwise Championship opposition could really harm Leeds without having a foothold in play.

Leeds can’t always rely on Luke Ayling for goals

Having scored against Forest Green Rovers last time out, Ayling added another with a superb run and one-two on the edge of the box before finishing beyond Mark Oxley.

What may be concerning for Leeds fans is that their right-wing-back is their most prolific player, especially as he also went close late on with an effort cleared off the line.

Leeds were dominant in possession and did have the ball in dangerous areas, but time and time again the attacking options failed to produce any kind of end product.

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Leeds United dodged a bullet on 5-goal forward Quique last summer

Leeds United tabled an offer for the Spanish attacker last summer.

Mathew Nash

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Comments in the Spanish press this week seem to suggest that Leeds United were in the hunt for Enrique ‘Quique’ Gonzalez last summer.

The 28-year-old has just completed a move from Osasuna to Deportivo La Coruna. It comes just one season after he joined Osasuna from Almeria.

According to the Basque club’s sporting director Braulio Vazquez, talking on the club’s official website, Leeds had an offer ‘on the table’ for the player.


“He had an offer from Leeds United on the table and was waiting for Levante, whose technical secretary was the current sports director of Deportivo.”

– Osasuna sporting director Braulio Vazquez on Quique’s signing


However, the forward ended up joining Osasuna in a deal worth €1.5 million (£1.3 million).

The interest from Leeds made perfect sense. The Whites were in the hunt for a new striker following the exit of Chris Wood. Quique had showcased his excellent goal-scoring ability on numerous occasions. He had just come off the back of two consecutive 16-goal seasons with Almeria.

(Photo credit should read RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2013-14, he scored 24 goals for Segunda B side Guadalajara.

But, based on the evidence of last season, Leeds have not missed out. In 44 games for Osasuna, he managed just five goals. Considering this was in a league he knows well and has had goalscoring success before, you can only imagine his form in England could have been even worse.

Leeds never truly solved their striker problem last season, but Quique was not the solution.

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