Leeds United’s promotion saviours are still in the building

At the time of writing, Leeds United are 48 hours away from their opening fixture in the 2023/2024 Championship season.

So far, the Whites have only added two players to a squad that was relegated last season. Additionally, Leeds have also let eight first-team players leave the club. It is a situation that has caused understandable consternation among sections of their fanbase but the reality is that the players who are going to drive Leeds to promotion are still in the building.

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Leeds’ tipped to bounce back immediately

This assessment of where Leeds are on the eve of the season is backed up by the latest football betting odds for promotion from the Championship with the Elland Road club at a price of 15/8; only Leicester City at 5/4 are at a shorter price to go up.

So, why is a fanbase getting into the brace position when those on the outside are confident Leeds will land a well-deserved promotion next spring?

The truth is that Leeds supporters live in perpetual fear of the worst happening and while this sense of ceaseless trepidation is common among followers of other clubs, having gone from Marcelo Bielsa to Sam Allardyce in 15 months, you are inclined to think the mistrust of what might be around the corner is justified from Leeds fans.

Putting these past traumas aside, the 2023/2024 campaign should provide all those connected to the club with a much-needed respite from a torrid 18 months in the Premier League owing to the embarrassment of riches the club still has.

The 49ers play hardball with the family silver

This has been achieved thanks to the club’s new owners, the 49ers Enterprises’ and their stance on retaining Leeds’ best players. Of course, the counterargument is that if they were that good, Leeds would still be in the Premier League.

However, it can’t be disputed that the players were let down by a series of managers with vastly different philosophies. From Jesse Marsch, Javi Gracia, and the aforementioned Allardyce; you couldn’t find more conflicting styles of play forced upon players in one season. In short, with such a scattergun approach and lack of forward planning, relegation was inevitable.

Again, that doesn’t mean Leeds have a poor squad. On the contrary, the recruitment under former director of football Victor Orta focused on up-and-coming players who were expected to be some of Europe’s best in the seasons to come. One successful example of this strategy was signing Raphinha from Rennes in 2020, the Brazilian now plays for Barcelona after Leeds sold him for £55 million.

While Orta was a man whose work divided opinions in West Yorkshire, the fact remains that Leeds will start the new Championship season with a front line of players that are worth well over £100 million. Some of these players have proven track records of scoring in the Bundesliga, Premier League, and for the Italian national team. There isn’t another team in the Championship that can boast of being able to call on this type of pedigree.

On the other end of the pitch, Leeds have a tried-and-tested model of players in defence who know how to win the Championship as the invaluable experience of Karl Darlow, Liam Cooper, Stuart Dallas, and Luke Ayling illustrates.

Leeds could already be the finished article

Going forward, Leeds will definitely add to their squad before the transfer window closes at the end of August but as of now, there is an argument to be made that says the Whites already have the perfect balance in place to not only achieve promotion but win the Championship.

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