Former Leeds star Andy Ritchie answers all your questions
Hi Andy, What do you think should be our priority areas in terms of recruitment this summer?
Where do you start! I think Leeds have to strengthen everywhere, depending on what happens up front as well.
I do think we need another striker. It’s already putting a lot of onus on Matt Smith, who has done brilliantly in his first season. But he’s still a ‘baby’ at this level. He’s probably excelled maybe more than he and the manager thought he would do. To put a big burden on him would be wrong.
Obviously, a lot depends on what happens with Ross. If he went, it might be that Leeds need at least two forwards.
Looking at him, they do need at least one more centre forward.
Maybe someone with a little bit more experience?
In the United midfield, I think they need a real general in there.
Rudy Austin can perform that role, although he hasn’t had the best of second half of the season.
Luke Murphy will be a better player next season and I think he will be better for what has happened this year. I do think he will be one to watch as he’s a super player, with his work-rate.
Then there’s the likes of Michael Tonge, as I know Michael Brown and one or two others are out of contract. Obviously, there’s young Alex Mowatt.
But you can’t put too much onus on kids as well. So Leeds need a few new players and there’s a fair few out of contract too.
A lot of improvement is necessary.
I do think we need a really big centre-half as well. Someone like Gordon Greer, who I know Leeds were after and couldn’t sign.
He would have been that man we needed.
It sounds like the squad will be smaller, but with the emphasis on quality, and that’s the way to go. They need to recruit very, very carefully. But as I said last week, they have to get everything else done off the pitch first.
Or do they sort the team first and the rest at a later date? I don’t know. They might not have a choice on that.
I don’t see an area where Leeds don’t need to strengthen at the top, middle or back.
And then, don’t forget, there’s the goalkeeping situation.
Jack Butland will return to Stoke, while there’s the situation with Paddy Kenny, whose agent issued a statement recently.
Paddy might have another year at Elland Road, but Leeds will still need to look at bringing someone else in as well. Whether it’s a new number one and Paddy is number two, or vice-versa. That will have to all be determined.
HI Andy. What do you make of Benito Carbone’s appointment to the academy. Brian McDermott seems close to Neil Redfearn and in that respect, it doesn’t look good with Massimo Cellino starting to flex his muscles?
I don’t think it’s a surprise that Cellino is starting to flex his muscles in that respect.
We are just going to have to wait and see. He will have to make a decision on the manager at some stage and he did say it will come at the end of the season.
The only thing I would say is that out of all that has gone on, Brian has come out of it with major credit and standing for me.
He has displayed dignity and the way he has handled himself has been awesome.
Off-the-pitch, Brian, pictured above, has shown his class all the way through despite all the mad stuff that was happening.
He has shown total dignity and patience, such as when he got sacked and reinstated in that crazy episode.
He showed grace and humility and has been proud to represent Leeds United as its manager. I still cannot believe what he had to put up with.
It’s important not to forget that.
Whatever happens at the end of the season, Brian will come out stronger for it. I am sure he knows that.