We All Love Leeds writer from over the pond Þorleifur Ananíasson takes a look at Lees United's current squad and evaluates who we have and what we need.
Recently Massimo Cellino told us the club only had 22 first team players, but I count 38. The 38 players include a list of full time professionals and two loan players. Of course these players are not all ready for the first team, but I think this is a strong group.
The transfer window will be open in January and with 3 top signings coming in I believe we should be strong enough to reach the play offs at least. Top players cost a lot of money and to get them we may have to sacrifice some of our current players.
We now have 3 out and out wingers which I think is a bit of a luxury, so if Will Buckley doesn't set the place alight I would send him back to Sunderland in January. I would do the same with the other loan player Tom Adeyemi, who I actually think will not be a future Leeds United star. However, I would try to get his team mate from Cardiff City, the Icelandic captain Aron Einar Gunnarsson. He's a sensibly aged midfield general and a real fighter with the longest throw ins in the league. He is Joey Barton, just with an actual brain. We must also sign a strong and experienced center half and a good goal scorer.
Finally, we must conclude the Sam Byram situation, hopefully by him signing a new contract. If not, then getting as much money for him in January as possible, 6-8 m pounds should not be to much if the big guns really want him.
Other players to follow the loan players out in January? Souleymane Doukara, Tommaso Bianchi and Casper Sloth can all go and would command transfer fees and should clear up a good amount of wage space. I also think it would clear the air a little to get rid of these players. The team could then take a big step forward towards promotion to the Premier League, that I honestly believe is just around the corner.
And for the latest problem, after reserve keeper Ross Turnbull broke his ankle in a training fixture, I would urge Leeds to sign Southend keeper and future prospect Daniel Bentley.
Tom Adeyemi - Cardiff City - Season-long loan/option to buy
Will Buckley - Sunderland - 93 day loan
Contract Expiry Dates
Lee Erwin (Bury on loan)