Leeds United defender attracting transfer interest and Whites position is currently clear

When Leif Davis left Leeds United last summer there was, for all intents and purposes, no way back.

By Graham Smyth
Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 1:31 pm

A season-long loan at Bournemouth carried with it a 'view to a permanent deal' - football code for cheerio - and the announcement of his move to the Cherries did not bear the same reassuring words from Victor Orta that accompanied Ian Poveda's Blackburn Rovers loan messaging. Poveda, Orta said, was expected to come back in a year's time to contribute once again at Elland Road. At the time it was a fair to assume Davis was not and as the season progressed, with some early struggles and only seven Championship starts, there was little to challenge the assumption.

It’s a similar situation with Tyler Roberts who is due to join Queens Park Rangers on a season-long loan that could eventually yield a permanent departure from Elland Road. When the parent club are open to the possibility of losing the player, they often do.

Yet as of a couple of days ago, Davis’ name was on the passenger list for Sunday's journey to Australia's Gold Coast and anyone donning the compression socks for the long-haul flight can be considered to have their feet well under the table.

WAY BACK - Leif Davis has impressed in training for Leeds United this summer and earned a way back into the Whites' plans after a season on loan at Bournemouth. Pic: Getty

The left-back returned to Leeds following the end of his loan spell and reported straight back for training at Thorp Arch, with Elland Road sources insisting that the 22-year-old, along with Poveda and the likes of Helder Costa, would be given a chance to impress Jesse Marsch.

Since then Davis has, by all accounts, impressed sufficiently to be considered part of a plan at left-back that includes four familiar faces but no new ones.

Leeds were always going to persist with Junior Firpo as their number one choice in that position. There were difficulties with injuries that made it a stop-start introduction to the Premier League, much in the same way that Rodrigo's first campaign went after a move from LaLiga, and the one-v-one defensive question marks placed over Firpo before his arrival did linger, particularly in Marcelo Bielsa's system, but he ended the season with some bright moments and a pair of relatively solid performances.

Leeds believe that with a year of English top flight football under his belt and a better understanding of the demands placed on full-backs in Jesse Marsch's set-up, he will produce a better second season.

Tucked in behind him, right now, is Davis, with Pascal Struijk and Leo Hjelde providing supplementary cover. Both Hjelde and Struijk, centre-backs by trade, had Premier League run outs at left-back last season and showed that versatility is not at all beyond them.

Leeds' recruitment has therefore focused elsewhere, thus far adding Champions League and international experience at right-back and in central midfield's attacking and defensive positions. Rasmus Kristensen, Marc Roca and Brenden Aaronson have all arrived, Tyler Adams is due to follow and Leeds hope that by the time they fly Down Under, Luis Sinisterra will have made it five senior additions.

The left-back options appear settled.

There is, however, some noise around Davis this week. Ipswich Town have made an enquiry around a permanent move and could be willing to spend something like £1m and the YEP understands they are not alone in harbouring interest in his services. He has options as he heads into the final year of his Leeds United contract.

In any transfer window things can change and Davis' situation is no different to any other. If Leeds were handed an opportunity to cash in on a player who could leave for free next summer, they might well consider it. As it stands, though, he's in the plans and on the flight.

As it stands, his focus is on staying put, continuing to impress Marsch and preparing himself for any game time that might arise in the event of Firpo becoming unavailable. As it stands, he's found a way back.