With Dan James and two more deadline day transfers, here’s how Leeds could line up.
With Leeds United on the verge of signing Manchester United winger Dan James, Express Sport takes a look at Marcelo Bielsa’s possible starting lineup.
Leeds United are closing in on Manchester United winger Dan James, who they were on the verge of signing from Swansea City two years ago. Express Sport looks at how Marcelo Bielsa’s team could line up if he signs James and two other players before the transfer deadline.
After signing a new five-year contract earlier this month, Illan Meslier will remain in goal.
Meslier guided Leeds to a ninth-place finish in their debut season back in the Premier League by keeping 11 clean sheets in 35 Premier League outings.
His performance earned him a call-up to the France under-21 team this summer, and Bielsa will be hoping that the goalkeeper’s upward trajectory continues.
Although Bielsa has other possibilities, such as Robin Koch and Diego Llorente, Pascal Struijk might pair captain Liam Cooper.
Following his move from Barcelona, Junior Firpo will compete for the left-back position, with Luke Ayling filling in at right-back.
Stuart Dallas, who played all but nine minutes of Leeds’ Premier League campaign last season while playing in a variety of positions, might pose a threat to both players.
Dan James, who can play on either flank, is expected to compete with Jack Harrison for the left wing place, with Raphinha on the right.
As Leeds’ midfield screen, Kalvin Phillips is a shoe-in, leaving two offensive midfield positions up for grabs.
Mikkel Damsgaard of Sampdoria and Nahitan Nandez of Calgliari, both on the Whites’ radar ahead of the transfer deadline, might fill these spots.
Nandez, like Damsgaard, is more usually deployed as a winger but can also play in the centre, but both would have to remove Dallas from the team.
Bamford came to Leeds’ rescue against Burnley at the weekend, just days after receiving his first senior England call-up.
After scoring 17 Premier League goals last season, the 27-year-old will continue to lead Bielsa’s assault.
And he will undoubtedly profit from the additional service provided by the signing of another quick winger in James.