With the new season less than 90 days away, the Summer will undoubtedly bring a whole host of names that will be linked with Leeds United. The squad needs a vast improvement in order to challenge next campaign, with Brian McDermott targeting seven new faces.
Posing the question, ‘Who should Brian McDermott sign in the summer’ on Twitter – and asking for five possible targets – a large collection of fans drew up their list and here are some of the most popular choices.
Adam Le Fondre - Given the former Rotherham striker’s connection with Brian McDermott, plenty of the Elland Road faithful are eager for a prolific goalscorer, following the departure of Luciano Becchio in January. Le Fondre was used predominantly as a sub under McDermott, but his ‘super sub’ effect on games gained him a reputable recognition in the top flight.
McDermott will know the team are short of goals and Le Fondre could be the perfect fit. Le Fondre recently questioned Nigel Adkins for not bringing him on in games and could suggest that the former League Two star is ready to leave the Madjeski.
Matt Phillips - Leeds United lacked pace last season. Without such a valuable attribute, United struggled in many departments, especially out wide. McDermott is no stranger to using fast wide men, with the Hal Robson-Kanu and Jobi McAnuff instrumental in their resurgence to Championship glory.
Phillips is reportedly out of contract in 2013 and is currently playing in a Blackpool side that finished 15th. The former Wycombe star is regarded as one of the best players in the Championship and rediscovered his form at the back end of last season. Matt Phillips would be a real asset for a club like Leeds, but it will be a fight to prize such a player away from other more established sides.
Alex Pearce – Another player Brian McDermott is familiar with. Pearce was captain under McDermott and will technically be a Championship player next season if a Premier League club does not come in for him. Out of contract in the Summer, the connection between Pearce and McDermott will possibly make Leeds United one of the front runners to acquire the Scottish international’s services.
Liverpool had been linked with Pearce, but quashed the rumour, stating they were not signing him.
Dwight Gayle - A little known entity in football until Peterborough United snapped him up from League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge. Gayle has flourished at London Road, despite Peterborough’s relegation to League One.
With pace, skill and an eye for goal, the 22-year-old has a bright future ahead of him. Clubs will be looking to take advantage of Peterborough’s relegation by prizing away arguably their most influential player.
Gayle is most certainly a player Brian McDermott should evaluate when considering his plans for the Summer. With wages that are most likely low and a player the Posh could cash in on, who better to build a future around than a player who looks to be getting better by the game.
Alex McCarthy – Very much a popular figure at Elland Road, despite only playing six games whilst on loan. In his six games, McCarthy kept three clean sheets and saved a penalty. The Reading keeper has recently established himself in the first team at the Madjeski, following a string of impressive performances.
The chances of Leeds United signing McCarthy are incredibly slim but some fans believe the team needs a new no.1, even though Paddy Kenny played every league game last season.
Many players were mentioned but the above are five of the most popular choices. Max Gradel featured heavily, but a recent injury means his move would be very unlikely.
A POSSIBLE FANS LEEDS UNITED X1 FOR 2013/2014
Byram A.Pearce Lees Warnock