By Keith Ingham
Fifteen players have strode manfully into the gates of the Theatre of Hope and it is to be hoped that their stay will provide Leeds fans plenty to be encouraged about. Two goalkeepers who in both their own ways have shown already that they will do their best to keep out opponents efforts on our goal. Yes, not perfect but the games against Bradford City, where Stuart Taylor kept us in the game and Marco Silvestri's incredible double save versus Bolton plus another three good saves that kept out Wanderers. A good start by both.
The defenders we've already seen have left their marks on the opening games Guantano Berardi, had a unspectacular debut until a 'Kung fu' kicked nearly separated an Accrington Stanley player's middle. A rash challenge that merited the sending off he received. Liam Cooper arrived from Chesterfield for rumoured to be over half a million pounds and in his first game against Middlesborough he strode through the game and looked composed. Even trying a 'Alan Hansen' sortie into midfield. The only downside was Jason Pearce being moved to right centre back where he looked less assured than on the left. Giuseppe Bellusci finally got his papers through after a delay caused by a Italian holiday and for his first half display at Watford he looked comfortable then blew his lines when he misjudged a high and hopeful ball and was sent off for bringing down a Watford player through on goal. Dario Del Fabro has yet to wear the white shirt but comes with international appearances at youth level, so again looks promising,
The already top heavy midfield was increased even further with four players, Tomasso Bianchi has been seen the most. Very comfortable on the ball even though midfield was a problem during the 'Hockaday' period, when I've watched him he's always tried to be positive as others around him disappointed. Zan Benedicic has only come on as a substitute in the Accrington and Bolton games, when match fit will be a good signing, I'm hoping. Casper Sloth from Denmark played also versus Bolton and played in front of the midfield, another positive player, who has represented Denmark at full international level. Lastly, hopefully the best of the lot, Adyran a loan signing with the possibility of a permanent deal already in place once attracted attention from the team in Salford but turned them down. Rumoured to be the next 'Kaka', looks (on YouTube video's) a player of quality and one I can't wait to see in a Leeds shirt.
With Ross McCormack, 29 goals and the Deadline day departure of Matt Smith who scored 13 goals gone to Fulham, Leeds will look to 'Sully' Doukara, already a double scorer versus Accrington and who looked lively after a nervous first appearance at Millwall. It's a shame a crude tackle has sidelined him for a time. Billy Sharp has been courted many times by Leeds but deals never materialised. In his first appearance for Leeds he scored at the Revie End to win the game versus Middlesborough. His celebration was a joy to see and many female fans fell for the less than fat lad from Sheffield!. Nicky Ajose has had a few games but has yet to win over the fans but has one thing that we need, a little pace around the penalty box. Hopefully he will improve. Mirco Antenucci although only has been seen in a couple of matches he has the movement and craft to unlock most defences, though he's in his late twenty's he still is a promising purchase. Brian Montenegro completes the long list and another not seen in a Leeds shirt but looks like he could cause teams problems as a striker or a winger. One thing is certain Leeds will need their new striking options to weigh in with at least double figures to compensate for the loss of Ross and Matt. McCormack was always going to leave but I thought Smith was a good impact player and should have been kept.
There you have it fifteen, hopefully better players than the ones they've replaced. Massimo promised a new team and he has delivered the personnel. Now all we need is a good quality man to coach them. That might be a little harder to find.
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