Leeds United welcomed their internationals back to pre-season training on Monday, July 4 which included an introduction for Rasmus Kristensen, Brenden Aaronson and Darko Gyabi.
The trio arrived together at Leeds Beckett University ready for pre-season testing before joining up with the rest of the group at Thorp Arch on Tuesday.
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Captain Liam Cooper was on hand to welcome the new faces on Monday morning, while familiar quartet Mateusz Klich, Diego Llorente, Daniel James and Illan Meslier were also present.
Norway Under-21 pair Kristoffer Klaesson and Leo Hjelde made a return for their preliminary tests ahead of this week’s first official friendly of the summer against Blackpool, too.
It is not expected any of the international players will feature against the Seasiders but with the bulk of Leeds’ current squad back to work boasting a clean bill of health, there is reason for optimism, even in the wake of Kalvin Phillips’ departure and Raphinha’s anticipated exit.
Here are five things noticed in Leeds’ latest pre-season training and testing videos as preparations continue for the 2022/23 campaign.
Cooper lends a hand
Club captain and returning Scotland international Liam Cooper was back to business on Monday alongside the new signings, but was on hand to offer a typically Yorkshire welcome to new boy Darko Gyabi.
As pleasantries were exchanged in the Leeds Beckett reception, Cooper could be heard asking the former Manchester City teenager if he would ‘like a coffee or owt?’
Tea, Liam, tea.
Llorente sees the funny side
Several of the returning internationals were put through their paces on the various machines at Leeds Beckett’s facilities. One in particular testing the strength of different muscles in the players’ legs saw Diego Llorente and co struggle with the machine’s resistance, as the design of the equipment intends.
After completing his test, the Spaniard looked up to the camera and asked jovially, ‘good video’ given the unflattering facial expressions on display throughout the exercise.
No Raphinha, yet
Star man Raphinha expects to seal an outgoing transfer from Elland Road this summer and has not been involved in Leeds’ pre-season schedule yet. The Brazilian had been representing his country last month and therefore granted additional leave along with the other internationals. He is due back in West Yorkshire on Thursday.
Marsch in the middle
While Marcelo Bielsa stuck religiously to a watching brief on the sidelines at Leeds United training, former US international Jesse Marsch appears to be involved with the players’ drills on occasion. Spotted during a game of keep-ball, Marsch scurried about between a ring of Leeds players young and old, vying to intercept possession.
Amongst those involved with the keep-ball exercise were young quartet Archie Gray, Harvey Sutcliffe, Jeremiah Mullen and Kris Moore. All four featured regularly for the Under-23 side last season and are expected to continue in the same vein this year. It is possible 16-year-old Gray could feature in Leeds’ first friendly.
Those who returned for pre-season testing last Monday are expected to be used against the Seasiders, such as Jack Harrison, Rodrigo Moreno, Patrick Bamford, Joe Gelhardt and Pascal Struijk.