Jesse Marsch's telling Leeds United confession leaves fringe squad member with race against time

Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch admitted the Whites are ‘actively pursuing’ moves for a left-back and a centre-forward
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Leeds have signed seven players this summer but their transfer business is far from complete, so says head coach Jesse Marsch.

The Whites are still looking to add two senior first-team players at left-back and centre-forward as the 2022/23 Premier League season fast approaches.

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Whether they are able to secure those deals before August 6th when they kick-off their campaign against Wolverhampton Wanderers remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, Marsch seems confident there will be additions in those positions during this window.

"I'd say we're actively pursuing both positions,” Marsch told reporters once Leeds had landed in Perth, Western Australia.

"The striker one, I think it's been well documented that Charles De Ketelaere was a goal of ours, and it's not finished yet with him. But we've also moved on to some other targets, trying to figure out which would be the best fit, if in the end, which is what we believe he will not be available.

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"And then left back, we have a few different candidates and we're just trying to evaluate exactly where we are with the roster and what exactly we need."

Leif Davis is currently understudy to the injured Junior Firpo at left-back (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)Leif Davis is currently understudy to the injured Junior Firpo at left-back (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Leif Davis is currently understudy to the injured Junior Firpo at left-back (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Marsch’s latter point indicates that Leeds will not persist with Leif Davis at left-back in the absence of Junior Firpo, who will be sidelined for the beginning of the season.

It is an area of the pitch which United have struggled to recruit for throughout Andrea Radrizzani’s time as chairman of the club.

Barry Douglas arrived from Wolves but could not replicate the form which saw the Midlands club promoted, while Laurens De Bock made only a handful of appearances for the Whites, never finding himself on the winning side.

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Ezgjan Alioski was converted to a left-back by Marcelo Bielsa which was a more successful but not always convincing endeavour, while Firpo’s arrival at Elland Road has left plenty to be desired, struck down by COVID on three separate occasions and plagued by injury.

For the past four years Davis has been contracted to the club after joining from Morecambe but spent last season on loan at Championship side AFC Bournemouth.

The Cherries were promoted but Davis was largely a peripheral figure in the south coast club’s rise.

Marsch suggested he was satisfied with what he had seen of Davis before heading out to Australia but with only a matter of weeks until the beginning of the new campaign, his latest admission that Leeds are in the market for a left-back is a clear indicator to Davis that he may be better off seeking opportunities elsewhere.

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Interest from Ipswich Town has been mooted but with the EFL calendar beginning in just under two weeks and Leeds not scheduled to return from Australia for another couple of days, Davis could find himself in limbo.

His exit would likely hinge on the ability to sign an upgrade, otherwise he may be forced to remain at Elland Road in the name of squad depth.

Even if this process could be expedited, Davis still faces a race against the clock to find a new club – loan or otherwise – before the new season begins in the Championship and League One at the end of July.