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With former Barcelona striker and Apoel Nicosia manager Thomas Christiansen now ensconced in the position of Leeds United manager, the question on the fans’ lips will be “who will he sign?”
Dozens of players have already been touted as potential signings, but budget concerns were cited as a main factor in popular ex-boss Garry Monk deciding to leave the club in May, when a contract offer was on the table for him.
Monk has since joined Middlesbrough and will be a rival for some of Leeds’ potential targets, though Ivan Bravo and Thomas Christiansen’s Spanish connections may well mean they get first dibs on some players via preferred agents. Here we look at two potential incomings at Elland Road over the next few weeks or months.
Boro player and fellow countryman of the new boss (sort of), Barragan joined them in 2016 having spent 5 years at Valencia. Although comfortable in the centre of defence or in a holding midfield position, Barragan played most of his Premier League games last season as a right-back and would be an upgrade on Luke Ayling in terms of quality and experience.
Ayling is good, but Leeds can have no room for sentiment anymore if they are looking to gain promotion and so Christiansen could look to Barragan. He is not massively influential going forward from right-back, but is defensively very solid and that is what Leeds need next season.
Cunningham played 40 games last season in the Championship, starting in all of them and managed a goal and 5 assists in what was an impressive attacking performance. The left-back made 2.6 tackles, 2.4 interceptions, 0.4 blocks and 3.7 clearances per game, though the only slight negative being that his average 1.1 fouls per match led to 12 yellow cards and two suspensions during the course of the season.
The current Preston number three would also add some versatility to the Leeds United squad. Whoever Christiansen brings in should be trusted to get the job done. The silver lining to Leeds’ poor end to the previous season is that some will start the next campaign with no expectations of promotion. A good start to life for Christiansen at Elland Road may bring about a feel good factor, which would be crucial if they are to get the best out of whichever new lads they sign this summer.