Leeds’ Promotion Push Bolstered by £17m Worth of New Talent   –   by Rob Atkinson


Modou Barrow (left) and Alfonso Pedraza (right)

The Leeds United powers that be have thankfully shown a pleasing amount of last-minute transfer market acumen with the deadline day acquisition of two pacy, talented wide players whose effect will potentially be to enhance the attacking unit’s potency all the way across the forward line. 

With the “try before you buy” loan signings of Alfonso Pedraza from Villareal, with an option to buy in summer for £8.5m, and Modou Barrow (purchase option £9m rising to £11m) from manager Garry Monk‘s former club Swansea City, Leeds have not only added options out wide, they have made the whole offensive situation that much more fluid. Both new signings are able to play out wide or more centrally, but their addition to the squad frees up the likes of Roofe, Doukara and even Dallas, none of whom are natural touchline-huggers, to operate further infield in support of lone spearhead Chris Wood. The advantages of this increased flexibility could be considerable, both game-to-game and within games, to stir things up as may be necessary. And suddenly having two proper wingers could even reap a bonus in terms of increased effectiveness for the misfiring Marcus Antonsson, a good striker who has starved for lack of service on his rare appearances for the first team. 

The Leeds United Twitter timeline was a toxic place to be, though, up until the signing of Barrow, with much wailing, cursing, rending of clothes and gnashing of teeth. Even after the arrival of the Swansea man, there remained some truculence and discontent. But many more were quite happy in the end, with a window that had added two quality arrivals to a highly effective if hitherto slightly patchy squad. Among those satisfied, we can presumably count Monk himself, who had appeared somewhat tense and distrait as the transfer clock ticked down. He wanted two signings and that’s what he eventually got. We can surely assume that he has the plan to make best use of the squad now in place. 

So, attention now turns to Ewood Park on Wednesday, and the urgent necessity of dealing with Blackburn Rovers. The standard approach of concentrating on each three points up for grabs as they coma along will continue to serve Leeds well, and the club will be acutely conscious of the need to restore face after the embarrassment of Sutton United

Neither new signing is available for Wednesday’s encounter, but both will be up for consideration at Huddersfield on Sunday. Six points is a lot to ask from these two tricky fixtures, but the form of our play-off and promotion rivals makes it almost a necessity to secure a maximum return if at all possible. But, according to the Monk Mantra, it’s still one game at a time and steady as she goes. 

The rest of the season beckons, with no Cup distractions. The opportunity is there for Leeds United, suitably bolstered by increased pace and width, to write another glorious page of their illustrious history. A promotion charge is a clear and present possibility, one glance at the table confirms that. In the race for the top-flight, fortune will surely favour the brave. Bring it on. 

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25 responses to “Leeds’ Promotion Push Bolstered by £17m Worth of New Talent   –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. Totally agree Rob, it’s a shame some doom and gloom merchants on other forums disagree!

    But I for one look confidently to the future, we are definitely no longer a team looking over our shoulders and more postively dealing with our own business, no panic buying, no sales, happy to intelligently add to our squad!

    The only way is up, if not this season then next…..

    Next order of business…. GM and PC have to be given long term contracts. MOT

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  2. And if we don’t achieve promotion, we cannot afford to keep them and we are back to square one next season.

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  3. Still worried about the lack of cover at CB. Cooper has totally lost confidence. Otherwise a good window. Have to say I was expecting Charlie Taylor to leave at 10.59pm!

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  4. Alan Wilson

    One player we might have looked at but never got a mention was the Cambridge striker who gave Pontus such a hard time. Or am I completely off the mark with my thinking.

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    • Dunno mate, Revie signed Sutton defender John Faulkner in 1970 on the strength of a good display against us. So, right or wrong, you’re in good company!

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  5. Happy Days..we r going UP

    MOT

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  6. Rob, we are a fickle lot, us football followers and I think you’ll find that the doom and gloom boys are probably a more contented bunch this morning. I think you’ll find that their angst comes from a lack of information which in turn leads to a feeling that nothing is happening (ever been on a train that has stopped and the announcer states the stoppage is due to an incident? Well, I want to know what the incident is!!! Of course there is nothing I can do about it but I still want to know) and this sense of frustration builds up steam when we hear that clubs such as Brentford have had an offer accepted for someone who was allegedly one of our principle targets!! I understand that smart transfer business is done on the QT but sometimes, just sometimes, feeding the masses some titbits isn’t a bad thing!! Just a thought. Onwards and upwards, haven’t felt this positive for a while!!

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    • We once stopped on the line between Wakefield and Leeds, and the conductor told us it was because we’d hit a cow. He went on to say we might be delayed a while as they had a lot of bits to sweep up, which I have to say I regarded at the time as too much information.

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  7. This has got to be looked at in a positive light and going by past transfer windows this is great. There is no room for slipping up what with just a couple of bad results the difference between in or out of the playoffs. We also should not be too quick to judge as the new guys will need time to settle. It’s looking good so let’s embrace it and get right behind the lads . MOT

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  8. David Dean

    A good summary on the window,Rob. They had Fletcher lined up – he was coming. I heard yesterday West Ham have a policy 3 out of 3 have to want a player – David Sullivan (owner) Billic and the sporting director. Billic didn’t want Hogan after all that negotiation – wouldn’t pay what Brentford wanted. Not Leeds fault. They have signed 2 wingers that look as though they can make a difference. They have been makeshift so far, used a system that works – Douky/Dallas on left Roofe/Sacko on right – only Sacko plays his normal position as a winger. The Monk and Pep have worked on Douky playing on the left in a way that uses Douky’s strengths. It has worked a treat when he is on his game. His natural game is a strong, robust striker and he has shown enough to be able to learn to do what they want – to be on the bench for Wood. They also might be thinking with 2 wingers that they can play with two strikers if Wood is injured from Roofe, Douky or Antonsson or Mo ( he has played as striker) so develop a different way of playing to compensate for Wood being out. As you say,Rob, they now have plenty of options. When Ant has played up front he is so isolated – 2 real wingers now will make a difference and with 2 up front as an option they will have service. Opposition will not know how they are going to play now with all those options. Takes the predictability away to some degree – keeps them guessing. Good signings. Playoffs look a safe bet and if we can’t make top two we are giving ourselves a real chance of Wembley – then it is a toss of a coin. Finally for all that the madman has done he could be Massimoses after all – he took them to the promised land but he died before they could enter!!
    🎩 MOT 🎶oh….Pontus Jansso’s Magic🎶
    🎶Noel Whelan shouting “Get Innn….the scum are on their arse 🎩🎶🎶🎩

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  9. How come the Wendies can spend vast sums and we can’t (don’t think that I am not happy with the window). Is it that the they own their own ground or have because they have rich owners? Are our overheads much higher? Anybody know?

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  10. Garry monk deserved that result on Sunday,the supporters and those that travelled especially didn’t. It was an insult to both Sutton and everyone with a shared love of Leeds United. I hope he remembers this as he owes us now and Leeds don’t do play-offs ,it always ends in disappointment. Top two is a priority now and I just hope that whoever plays upfront is quick enough to get on the end of the crosses from the new lads as they’ll fly in like rockets. Finally I never want to hear the name “Ashley Fletcher” ever again. He’s had his chance and muffed it. Onwards and upwards to the top two.

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    • Why blame Fletcher? As someone else said, it seems to have been a Bilic call. From all I understand, the boy wanted to come to Leeds.

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      • Ha ha,aye but Payet had set the precedent,although Fletcher didn’t have to go to those extremes he still didn’t hand in a transfer request so he couldn’t have been THAT keen.

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      • It’s a last resort for a player to hand in a request though. The lad could have been eager for the move, without wishing to burn his bridges at West Ham.

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  11. Thank you Rob for your deep wisdom. I have to say the financial spending of some of the teams astounds me. Still a good window though. Leeds united with more than one winger, yippee!

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  12. Very impressed with the two new signings on you tube.new lease of life for antonsonn,roofe,doukara,Dallas,sanko!And above all woods! Especially for antonsonn who can now showcase his skills!

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  13. I can’t add anything to an excellent article. Can’t wait for the explosions to happen.

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  14. I hope they both run riot at the kennel club on Sunday..

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  15. Kevin Keenan

    One game at a time Leeds I don’t remember feeling this good for years aside from the sutton game in Monk we trust.MOT

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  16. belfastpete

    one game at a time Leeds I have never felt this good for years apart from the sutton game in Monk we trust. MOT

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  17. totally agree, I cannot remember a time in recent history when we had such pace and width and so many attacking options as well as a rock solid back line.
    Was sick of hearing the bleating aboit how much the wendies and villa were blowing. I like this try before you buy option, and the cost of these two if signed permanently after reaching the Prem certainly show committment and forward thinking from above.
    As for the ‘who is he?’ moaners after Pedraza signing, seriously, of course we dont know who he is yet, how many expects in our fan base are experts on Spanish youth players ! The boss knows, thats all that matters.
    3 Points tonight a must, and I might stop carping boit the shameful and disgraceful debacle at the weekend. Didnt matter it was ‘only’ the FA Cup. We are Leeds and should play and fight to win EVERY game , not matter it’s perceived importance……

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