What a two weeks in Leeds! Unbelievable stuff really, until you realize what club we're talking about, what club we all love, and what sort of drama is always associated with it. Most of our staff went on holiday after England got knocked out of Euro 2016, enjoying summer temperatures at lakes and beaches around the world (sorry Southern Hemisphere readers/writers), but man, did we pick a bad time for that.
Leeds United signed a handful of players, and we'll get to that in a minute, but we also let one of our LUFC favorites here at Through It All Together head to Bournemouth.
Bournemouth! Of all places! ...Come on!!
Before we can move on (and before our staff writers all submit their angry rants about this), a quick farewell to Lewis Cook, our 2015/16 Young Footballer of the Year, and the exact sort of player you don't let get away.
The news of course led "Leeds Twitter" to a large number of tweets like this one...
But we're not writing about this right now. We're not! We need to move on. Surely, we'll have more commentary on Lewis Cook in the three and a half weeks (!!!) before the season kicks off, but that's not for now.
Instead, today, we take a quick look at the beautiful men come to save the day and fill Cookie's 19-year-old shoes. Some are young, some are not, some are goal-scorers, some are not, but all will be wearing Leeds United White in 2016/17, and all will have our support. We asked the staff which of the new signings we're most excited about, and our answers are below.
Sitting around the roundtable this week: Anthony Linley and Matt Robinson from Yorkshire, Sean Ryan from Meath, Ben Mallis from Perth, and Johnny Wakefield from Charlotte, North Carolina in the States.
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.
Which new Leeds United footballer are you most excited about?
Matt Robinson: Rob Green. Simple. While we have made some very exciting signings so far, few of them are proven at this level. Rob Green is proven at this level, the next one, and the next one.
We've had a history of accident prone keepers since we left the top flight. Paul Rahubka, Paddy Kenny and Marco Silvestri of late. While Silvestri showed moments of great shot stopping ability, he has dropped us points too many times over the past few seasons and his general attitude hasn't exactly been flawless. Yes, I'm talking about the time he refused to play because he had a little scratch on his tum tum or somewhere.
Green, at 36, is a great age for a keeper. He's commanding, experienced and solid. Ignoring his howler for England back in World Cup 2010 (you're welcome, Johnny), he has had a great career to date, and has all the credentials needed to be Leeds United's Number 1. QPR phased him out last season to save money on the wage bill and I think Green would have had choices when he became available in the summer.
Good job on nailing this one down Cellino. Good work.
Sean Ryan: What a week for Leeds United. We sign a few players and things are looking up, then our best player is on his way to Bournemouth, our left back and goalkeeper look like they're off too, and I can't go see Leeds play when they come to Ireland because I'm working. What a crap week.
But we can't let that get in the way of the fact that we have made some fantastic signings in the weeks prior. For the first time in years we seem to be buying the players we need and not panic buying. And if that wasn't enough we signed the player I have been campaigning for since March.
Kemar Roofe is fast, is a winger, scores goals and he plays for Leeds. Christmas, as they say, has come early. Roofe can take people on, he isn't afraid to do something that can change a game and if it goes wrong he'll keep his head up and go again.
Roofe scored 26 goals last season alternating between midfield and striker. At a higher level he can still score 15-20 goals a season playing as a winger. When was the last time we had a midfielder that scored 15 goals a season? Monk can get the best out of him and with Wood getting consistent, decent service we could actually have a decent strikeforce. The thought has me salivating at the mouth.
Kemar Roofe is the key gentlemen. Trust me on that.
Ben Mallis: Give me Marcus Antonsson. It only took 30 minutes of me floating around YouTube to fall in love with the mystery man from Sweden.
All this talk of attacking football is useless without the talent on the pitch. Antonsson may not be proven in England but he has a track record of scoring goals. It’s that simple as far as I’m concerned.
He has just completed the best period of his career. He looks to be a clever player and a natural footballer when in possession. Plus he really wants to succeed and wants to be at Leeds United. What is not to love?
Antonsson will be a versatile attacking weapon and introduce something new to the squad. His speed and touch will allow him to pair with Chris Wood if this is Monk's preferred option. If not, his size and skill should allow him to play alongside Kemar Roofe, Souleymane Doukara or anyone else that Monk wants to use in attack.
Anthony Linley: Of the Monk signings, Bartley has only played 33 times in 5 years, Grimes has little Championship experience and less so Marcus Antonsson. Green has pedigree but at 36?
For me the stand out signing to date is Kemar Roofe. With potential to become another Beckford, he may be what we need in the forward play, alongside Wood.
With 16 goals to his credit last season he was the 2016 League 2 player of the year. Previous winners of that award, such as Grant Holt and Matt Ritchie, have gone on to play Premiership football. Let's hope Kemar can do that with Leeds (in the not too distant future).
Johnny Wakefield: My most used phrase of the 2015/16 season was "the error prone back four." I absolutely hated writing it. While the lack of goals was probably our most glaring flaw and the problem that needed to be fixed first, the points given away on stupid, stupid, stupid mistakes by Wootton, Bellusci, and Bamba were absolutely infuriating.
To that end, I'm most excited about Kyle Bartley. He's only 25, he has a great relationship with Garry Monk who signed him to a 3 year deal at Swansea, and he has experience at all levels, from the England U-16 and U-17 ranks to a Champions League appearance with Arsenal. He has suffered from bouncing around on loans and assignments over the last few years, but a place in the starting lineup in the Championship seems like a solid fit for him.
If he can start to solidify that back line, with Wootton and Bellusci gone (and Taylor potentially out the door as well), he'll be the most important signing we made this summer. I love the other guys we've brought in, but if I never write "error prone back four again," I'll be thrilled. Step up Kyle, we need you.
So that's it for this week's roundtable. Five writers responded this week, and we had four different answers. Which do you agree with? Or are you more excited about someone else? Vote in the poll and let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading this week, enjoy the last few weeks of summer, and see you again next week. #MOT