So it looks like Leeds United have signed our first on-the-pitch addition of the summer in Swedish striker Marcus Antonsson. We’ll have more analysis of that signing on the blog in the coming days as things become official, but it’s clear that Garry Monk and Pep Clotet saw our horrendous goals per game number in 2015/16 and made an important move to change that.
Can he grow a beard like Mirco's though? Should be a fun addition, and props to LeedsUnitedComps for the video.
Before we heard about the signing, I asked the ever-growing staff of Through It All Together this week’s roundtable question, and it looks to have been a timely one. If we had to make one signing, who would we bring in for the 2016/17 season? I put limits on the question to stop us from answering with Ronaldo, Messi, or Bale... but there’s a theme in the answers, so let’s see if you can find it.
We’ve also added three new staff members to the blog this week in Ciaran Roche from Leeds, Jack Dudley from Cambridge, and Sean Ryan from Meath, Ireland. I'm excited to get to know them and see their work over the coming months, and you should be too. All quality guys.
So sitting around the roundtable this week: Sean from Meath, Jack from Cambridge, Matt Robinson and Anthony Linley from Yorkshire, Ben Mallis from Perth, Australia, and Johnny Wakefield from Charlotte, North Carolina in the States. We're worldwide y'all.
All of us are "all Leeds," and all of us will try to answer the question we present every Wednesday to the best of our ability. It's not a quiz show, but it should give you insight into us as fans and writers alike.
And at the end, in the comments, don't forget to let us know how you'd answer the question of the week.
The Weekly Wednesday Roundtable... begins now.
If you could bring in one guy for Leeds in 2016/17, who would you choose?
Matt Robinson: I think we need to strengthen in several areas this summer, an experienced centre back is a must, a 20+ goals a season striker, another winger. The one player that sticks in my mind who would fill one of these positions is Jack Grealish.
He looked great for Villa in the first half of the season and I believe Steve Evans said we bid for him in January. This obviously didn't happen. since then he seems to have fallen out of favour at Villa so things may be different now.
He's young, aggressive, has a point to prove and with Villa relegated they will probably be in for a summer of changes. He will no doubt cost towards £5 million, but totally worth it at the age of 20 and already full of premier league experience.
Jack Dudley: In my opinion, to get out of this league and to be a nailed on contender for those top-two spots come May, you need to spend money. Leeds have been reluctant to do this for many a season now, and we all know that it needs to change if we are to warrant a legitimate challenge back to the big time.
This needs to start happening from the front. Leeds have been unable to fill the void left by the likes of Luciano Becchio and Ross McCormack and their abilities to get over that magic 20 goal mark. While it remains to be seen what new boy Marcus Antonsson may bring, Chris Wood's tally of 13 last season just doesn't quite cut it.
Patrick Bamford could be the answer to this problem.
He's an increasingly classic example of a modern-day forward who just can't quite transition from the Championship to the Premier League. The 2014/15 season saw Middlesborough fall just short after losing in the play-off final to Norwich, with Bamford their top scorer in that campaign with 17.
He is yet to make a league appearance for parent club Chelsea, and has since been loaned out to Crystal Palace and Norwich after returning from Teeside. Appearances in both spells have been limited for Bamford, and he is yet to find the net in the top-flight.
Chelsea seem keen to keep hold of the 22-year-old, but with him seemingly not being in their immediate plans, perhaps another loan spell and dropping down a division may help him rediscover his goal-scoring form and propel the mighty Whites back to the promised land.
Sean Ryan: Ah another summer, another round of ridiculous transfer rumours for Leeds United. No doubt we'll be linked with every six goal a season striker from Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway. Well you get the picture. But it’s not a striker we need. Well we do, but I was specifically told to keep it to one player so that’s a story for another day. Ever since we were promoted back to the Championship our big problem has been the back four. Let's not forget that we had Kasper Schmeichel for the 2010/11 season, and we conceded 70 odd goals that season. Now he’s a Premier League champion.
The one player I think we need to sign is Schmeichel’s Leicester City teammate Liam Moore. He’s not getting a game in the Leicester team, we nearly signed him on loan in January, and at 23 years of age he still has plenty to offer. He's tough, he’s fast, he can tackle and Lord knows after watching the crap that Bamba and Bellusci spew on a weekly basis, he can’t be much worse.
He would most likely cost somewhere between £500k and £1 million, so he’s definitely affordable. Moore has the potential to be a leader for Leeds and he has the quality to stick around if Leeds get promoted. We need defensive reinforcements and we need them ASAP. Maybe he'll get a few like this along the way...
Here’s hoping Liam can be the one to force Bellusci out.
Ben Mallis: There are two players who I would love to see at United next season. The first is my countryman Tom Rogic. There were rumours of interest from Cellino & Co. back in January but nothing eventuated due to Celtic’s steep demands.
Rogic is a 23 year-old playmaker who has blossomed during his time with Celtic. He has developed into an attacking weapon in the Scottish Premier League and would fit beautifully with Leeds as a natural number 10 type. Rogic is coming off a breakout season in Scotland, one in which he made 39 appearances, scored double digit goals, and made me salivate with this finish.
Whether Rogic would consider a move to Leeds is now questionable as bigger clubs have shown interest. But Leeds could offer guaranteed first team football and the chance to work with our saviour Garry Monk. Such a move would bring back childhood memories of when Socceroos Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell once reigned at Elland Road. C’mon Tom, you know you want to…
The second, and more realistic option, is Ashley Fletcher. I have never been a massive fan of Fletcher but the thought of him running around in United colours has grown on me over the past week.
What I have come to love about Fletcher is the fact he covers off on everything we need. He is a young striker with pedigree and promise. He has shown the ability to perform in the lower leagues and has a propensity of scoring goals in big games, evidenced by his double in Barnsley Johnstone`s Paint Trophy triumph and his play-off clinching strike in the League One playoff final.
In order to finish inside the top six next season, we need more goals and Fletcher would help with this. Plus, he is young and could blossom as we move up the rungs of English football.
Anthony Linley: Right now, Leeds have some great young prospects (if we can keep hold of them). However, it's obvious they need a leader on the pitch, a battling midfielder to sit in front of the defence and let the likes of Taylor, Mowatt, Botaka and Cook bomb forward and do what they do best: attack.
The efforts of Liam Bridcutt were not lost on me, but now that he's gone there’s a vacancy for a midfield general. I thought about Steven Gerrard, now with MLS side LA Galaxy. He can sit in front of defence and make those incisive passes that are some times lacking from our repertoire. However at 36, he may not be able to cope with the rigours of the Championship and indeed is currently battling hamstring injuries.
So moving on... Leeds have also been linked with a move for Swedish International Sebastian Larsson. Being surplus to requirements at Sunderland, the experienced Swede can play in various positions that would provide options for Garry Monk and especially in the defensive midfield role. We have been woeful at set pieces of late and Larsson is a dead ball specialist with ability to take corners and free kicks. Would he be willing to drop a division? The offer of captaincy and if he can be picked up for a bargain price (being near the end of his contract), then maybe we could offer him a decent enough wage to tempt.
Still featuring for Sweden in the current Euro 2016 tournament and at 31 he should have plenty left in the tank, could he be our man?
Johnny Wakefield: I have just one thing to say to end this longest-roundtable of all time.
Thanks to all the writers for their legitimate answers, I'll leave mine at this: I do think Will Grigg works on some level, but would the on-fire god humble himself to play for a Championship squad when he's the best striker in the history of the world? Doubtful.
That's it for this week's roundtable. Thanks to all the staff members who spoke up this week. So did any of us get it right? Or do you have a better idea? Vote in the poll and let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading this week, enjoy your summer, and see you again next week. #MOT