Regardless of what league Leeds United find themselves in next season, be it the Sky Bet Championship or the Premier League, there are bound to be players leaving the club.
In their centenary year, Whites fans will be hoping that their club will finally escape the clutches of the Championship and ascend to the splendour of the Premier League. Sitting pretty in 2nd place in the Championship, with a three-point advantage over Sheffield United, Leeds couldn’t really be any better placed.
There’s just four games left, and the next game up tomorrow, Good Friday, is against a Wigan side sat in 21st place and with just ONE away win ALL season. It is an ideal game for the Whites, one they should win, one where they could pull further away from the Blades.
However, away from promotion hopes and aspirations and all that brings, Leeds United fans will have to get used to the fact that there will likely be some outgoings at the club. There’s usually some movement both ways in the post-season as teams begin to restructure amidst challenges new, that will be no different at Elland Road.
Here’s a look at some of the players likely to leave Elland Road over the summer transfer window.
Samu Saiz: Spanish attacking midfielder and playmaker Saiz is unplayable on his day. Leeds United fans have seen plenty of that side of his play, as they have of his inconsistencies. He’s not settled in England, and is currently nearing the end of a half-season loan deal with Madrid-based La Liga side Getafe. It’s not gone well for him, not featuring in the last nine games. However, Leeds will look to move him on.
Caleb Ekuban: the affable Ghanaian came to Leeds United after a 17-goal, 5-assist season in 2016/17. Trouble is, that was in the Albanian top-tier and it didn’t translate to the Sky Bet Championship. As such, Ekuban has been out on loan to Turkish top-tier side Trabzonspor where he’s scored 8 goals and provided 3 assists in 30 games across all competitions. There’s some noise that Trabzonspor want to make the deal permanent. Again, another player that’s likely to leave the Whites this summer.
Hadi Sacko: one thing Hadi Sacko had was pace aplenty – he just didn’t have that killer touch in front of goal to go with it. If he had both, what a player Leeds United would have had on their hands. It was clear that he’d not be considered at Elland Road this season, and departed on a disastrous loan to LaLiga2 side UD Las Palmas. After just five appearances totalling 97 minutes, a further loan was found at Turkish side Ankaragucu. Like Caleb Ekuban, it is likely that Sacko will leave Leeds and stay in Turkey.
Pawel Cibicki: a Swede with Polish ancestry, Cibicki actually looked the part on his first few appearances for Leeds United. He ran at players, was tricky, and set up a couple of goals. However, he’s another player that has fallen out of favour and looks likely not to feature for the Whites again. He’s currently playing for Malmö in the Swedish Allsvenskan and has one goal and one assist in eight games across all competitions.
Laurens De Bock: former Belgian Under-21 international De Bock certainly had the pedigree when Leeds United paid around £1.2m for him from Club Brugge in mid-January 2018. He featured just seven times for the Whites in his first season, and frailties were soon spotted by erstwhile Leeds fans. He didn’t feature after his 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw against Reading in early March 2018, not even named in the squad in the last nine Championship games. He’s currently back in Belgium and playing on loan for KV Oostende for whom he’s made 18 appearances across all competitions, scoring two goals. De Bock is another player likely to come back over the summer with a view to bring moved on.