It’s been a funny summer of comings and goings at Leeds United this summer which has seen the good, and the bad arrive and depart Elland Road.
You would have expected that most Whites fans, after several summers of chopping and changing, would be oblivious to a revamp at the club; with new foundations knocked down and built up again and with managers being appointed, sacked and even resigning, it appeared no news could surprise the faithful anymore.
But think again. Last season would’ve been considered as a success despite missing out on the play-offs, after Garry Monk guided Leeds to a seventh-place finish – something which hadn’t been done since 2011 under recently defeated Sunderland boss, Simon Grayson.
So, it was a big, big, big shock when Monk, despite publicly proclaiming his desire to sign a new contract at the club, resigned before this year’s pre-season to join recently relegated Middlesbrough.
This meant the arrival of a man who’d only taken charge of sides in the Cypriot league but came with a good playing pedigree after a spell at Spanish giants Barcelona during his playing career – Thomas Christiansen was the man chosen to take the club forward.
Many doubted him when his name and background was revealed but it’s fair to say that the Dane has proved the doubters wrong, with him being one of two managers in the whole of the Football League who still maintain an unbeaten start to the season.
Yes, you could argue that it’s early days, admittedly two of his wins have come against lower league opposition in the cup, of course you could protest that Christiansen’s side haven’t faced the best of this division yet, but he’s done something that few of the new managers at Elland Road have done over the past five years – he’s made a bit of history.
Winning the first three away matches of the season being a small part of the history the former Barcelona player has already made after just seven games in charge, and he will be hoping to create longer notes in the history book at the end of the season and be the one who took Leeds back to where they belong.
Christiansen, considering the implications and personnel in his squad, has done exceptionally well to mould his players into a high scoring and strong unit and despite the departure of last seasons top-scorer Chris Wood, Leeds look to be more dangerous than ever.
However, the recent departures of United’s strike-force; which include Lee Erwin to Kilmarnock, Marcus Antonsson on loan to Blackburn, and more recently Souleymane Doukara and Chris Wood to Turkish side Osmanlispor and Burnley respectively, meant the Whites were left with only Kemar Roofe as an attacking option before last week’s addition.
As reported previously, the Whites had bid for NEC Nijmegen forward Jay-Roy Grot and that bid turned out to be successful as the nineteen-year-old Dutchman joined and also featured against Nottingham Forest.
Grot certainly proved he was capable of handling the physical aspect of English football but at such a young age, it may take time for the 6ft 4in youngster to adjust to the speed and ruthlessness of the Championship.
It appears Leeds could be able to provide the Dutch under-19 International time if needs be judging from Saturday’s display against Forest who had also enjoyed a good start to the season before Leeds came to town.
They sat just above United in fourth spot before the game, but Kemar Roofe’s header and a wonder striker from Ezgjan Alioski saw Leeds make a huge statement of intent going into the International break.
Samuel Saiz and Kemar Roofe have recorded recent hat-tricks in the previous cup matches before the recent league win, and you wouldn’t back against them scoring more against Burton during the first game back.
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Although United’s recruitment this summer has seen relatively unknown players arriving at the club, the scouting process has proved to be thorough and the players produced from it have shown that they are of top quality.