What the national media have said about Leeds United's potential return to the Premier League

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The Championship promotion battle has been particularly enthralling this season, with a host of sides vying for promotion to the English top tier. While Norwich City look to have bagged the top spot, the race for second place (and automatic promotion) is still going strong, as Leeds United and Sheffield United look to avoid the infamously unpredictable play-offs.

Henry Winter has become the latest writer to suggest Leeds United returning to the Premier League would be a massive benefit to the competition, citing manager Marco Bielsa's side's style of play and the Whites fans' passionate support as key reasons behind his argument.

Leeds United

Leeds United

As Leeds haven't been in the Premier League since 2004, their recently improved fortunes have generated a palpable buzz around English football of late, with fans and pundits alike clamouring to see the footballing powerhouse back among the big boys next season.

Spearheaded by an astute (and extraordinarily well prepared) tactician in Bielsa, a hardy group of players capable of winning while playing eye-catching football, and that infamous kit badge most probably dead and buried, the time seems right for the club to reclaim their spot among the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur for the 2019/20 campaign.

Here's what the national press and Championship managers have had said about Leeds United's potential return to the Premier League...

Henry Winter - The Times:

"Over the past 15 years in particular, the Leeds story has been part circus, total chaos with only the supporters staying firm. Theirs is an everlasting love, through thick and thin, almost gruel-like thin. Supporters kept turning up to be counted."

"After 25 managers, including caretakers, in 85 years, Leeds have raced through 18 managers in their mad, maddening past 15 years (with Neil Redfearn in charge four times) but have now found a saviour in Bielsa.

"The meticulous Argentinian has made Leeds believe again, brought the atmosphere back, spent little, given youngsters a chance, got them playing from the back, made light of injuries, and always adhered to his style, even when results dipped."

Robbie Savage - BBC Radio 5live:

“I’ve heard a few idiotic comments from people saying that it’s bad for English football that Norwich and Leeds are the top two in the Championship. You know these idiotic comments, there’s nothing more I’d like to see than Leeds United back in the Premier League.”

Ross Kennerley - 90min:

"It's no coincidence that ​Leeds are on the television more often than not, usually surpassing viewing figures of top flight clubs. They require the screen time because they're not a big club - they're a huge club. A one-city side naturally garners a large following, but their notability is global as they're stalwarts of the English game.

"Leeds demand a following, just as the ​Premier League craves the heavyweight fixtures. Tell me honestly, doesn't the prospect of Leeds vs ​Manchester United sound distinctly more inviting than, and in no disrespect, a trip to face fellow Yorkshire side Huddersfield?

"This club is steeped in tradition, universally synonymous with working class football, and if ties against Leeds don't tickle your tastebuds, then I fear what will. The prospect of the Premier League with Leeds in it next season just sounds better."

Steve Bruce - In a Yorkshire Post interview following Sheffield Wednesday's 1-0 loss to Leeds:

"Leeds are chalk and cheese to what they were last season. The transformation in the last 12 months is there for all to see. For a team that finished mid-table, the turnaround is quite remarkable. Fair play to Leeds.

"There is (Patrick) Bamford who has come in. But, basically, this is the same personnel. I take my hat off to him (Bielsa). A breath of fresh air, that is what he has been.

“A very, very good outfit. I have seen them a few times...a very, very good team who – in my opinion – look like they are going to get promoted."