Places still up for grabs for Leeds United’s season opener, insists Thomas Christiansen - interview

Thomas Christiansen
Thomas Christiansen
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THOMAS CHRISTIANSEN says plans for his Leeds United starting XI are far from set in stone as his players prepare to return to training at Thorp Arch on Thursday.

Leeds have just one remaining pre-season friendly before the new Championship campaign with League One side Oxford United visiting Elland Road on Saturday, eight days before the season opener at Bolton Wanderers.

I have my ideas of the team that I can put out but there’s still almost 10 days until the first game in the league and everyone will show that they want to play.

Thomas Christiansen

United’s players have spent the last two days off following a ten-day tour of Austria but will return to training at Thorp Arch on Thursday, two days before the visit of an Oxford side managed by former Whites assistant coach Pep Clotet.

Head coach Christiansen admits he already has his own thoughts as to what his strongest XI will be but says the remaining 10 days still offer every chance to impress.

Christiansen said: “I have my ideas of the team that I can put out but there’s still almost 10 days until the first game in the league and everyone will show that they want to play.

“This week we will start our countdown to the beginning of the season. We will work a lot to be in the best condition.”

Christiansen and Leeds are continuing their hunt for further new signings with United expected to add another two or three first team squad players before the closure of the summer transfer window.

Leeds are particularly keen to strengthen their defence but the Whites are also looking at further attacking options.

The club have also been boosted by agreeing a fee with Burnley over the transfer of left back Charlie Taylor. The defender left Leeds for the Premier League club last month after his deal at the Whites expired but United were entitled to compensation due to the defender being under the age of 24.

With no agreement over a fee in place, the compensation was set to be settled by a tribunal but Leeds have now agreed a fee with the Clarets, thought to be between £6-7m.

Christiansen is now hoping for good news surrounding recent Whites recruit Mateusz Klich ahead of his side’s return to training.

Klich has been recovering from a muscle injury picked up in the build-up to the friendly at Guiseley played on the Saturday before Leeds set off for Austria.

The midfielder has yet to return to full training with the rest of the squad with the 27-year-old instead having been involved in intense fitness training with the club’s medical staff.

Christiansen now hopes to welcome Klich back to full training tomorrow.

“It has been a long time without him and I would have expected that he had made a few days with us in Austria,” said Christiansen.

“But it’s one that you don’t risk so that he comes back in good condition.”

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