Five transfers to Leeds starting XI for 22-23; Raphinha gone, four new arrivals
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Five transfers to Leeds starting XI for 22-23; Raphinha gone, four new arrivals

Jesse Marsch is busy, working away with Victor Orta on moulding his Leeds United ahead of his first full season. Brenden Aaronson is in, Rasmus Kristensen is close, and plenty more are being linked.

So, as things stand, here is what the starting XI for 22-23 could look like when Leeds return to Premier League action in August – including four new signings, and Raphinha sold…

Starting Leeds XI for 22-23:

Illan Meslier (GK)

Illan did not enjoy his best season. But the French goalkeeper is learning quickly, and after two seasons as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper and on the brink of a France call-up – Leeds simply cannot replace him.

Rasmus Kristensen (RB)

The next, most-likely signing. Luke Ayling will feel hard done by but Leeds need competition on the right, especially with Stuart Dallas out. A five-year deal is expected. It might mean that Jamie Shackleton has to go out on loan.

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Diego Llorente (CB)

He might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Llorente is now settled and enjoyed a mostly injury-free season. He remains a regular in Spain’s national side and he cannot be overlooked. On paper, he is our best centre-back.

Liam Cooper (CB)

Harsh on Pascal Struijk, but Cooper’s absence towards the end of the season shows just how crucial he is. He might not be the best on the ball, but his organisation and leadership is second to none. A necessity in defence.

Junior Firpo (LB)

Perhaps the most-questionable inclusion. Firpo improved towards the back end of the season under Marsch and there is potential there. But he is in the side, mostly because Leeds have not yet properly targeted a left-back.

Lewis O’Brien (CM)

A player Leeds have long admired. Huddersfield failed to gain promotion and with a £10million release clause, Leeds simply cannot miss out. Marsch likes two defensive-minded midfielders in his 4-2-3-1 and O’Brien is ideal.

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Kalvin Phillips (CM)

If Leeds are going to sell Raphinha, then they are going to keep their other biggest asset. Phillips will hardly want to leave Leeds on last season’s note, in which he spent four months injured. Unless Manchester City call, he stays.

Takumi Minamino (RW)

Leeds have been strongly linked with Takumi Minamino, with The Mirror claiming that Liverpool are willing to include him in a deal for Raphinha. Leeds fans even think they noticed a sign that Leeds want him, earlier this week.

Brenden Aaronson (AM)

Aaronson’s best position is picking up lines in between midfield defence as an eight, or a 10. He can play out wide, but if Leeds are to get the best out of their £24million signing, they need to play to his strengths. As a 10.

Jack Harrison (LW)

Newcastle and Tottenham have been loosely linked but similarly to Phillips, if Raphinha goes, then surely Harrison stays. He has a better end product than Dan James, and deserves to start as he quickly becomes a fan favourite.

Patrick Bamford (ST)

I, for one, cannot wait to see this man scoring goals again. Fingers crossed, the Bamford of 2020-21 returns. He deserves time and the chance to recreate said form. Leeds will want a striker this summer, but Bamford is first choice.

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