Leeds United Q and A - ownership picture, Cody Gakpo chance, transfer issues and predicted finish

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Leeds United have emerged from the summer transfer window a different beast to the one that entered it, but it was far from plain sailing as deadline day went awry.

The Whites sit ninth in the Premier League after six games and Jesse Marsch has had plenty of evidence to back up the positivity he’s brought to the table since arriving to replace Marcelo Bielsa.

New signings Tyler Adams, Brenden Aaronson and Marc Roca have caught the eye, while Luis Sinisterra is starting to show that the goal threat he posed in Holland will follow him into the English top flight.

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Marsch’s squad for the Brentford game boasted more experience on the bench than any in recent memory and senior players like Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling and Liam Cooper are on their way back from injuries to rejoint he fray.

But big questions remain, not least after that deadline day and the confusion that arose over how much Leeds were able to invest in a striker this summer.

We took 37 of your questions on all manner of Elland Road subjects, including the stadium itself and Leeds’ plans for it.

Leeds United post-transfer window Q and A

Key Events

  • Leeds made big squad changes in the transfer window
  • Deadline day was messy and dramatic
  • Jesse Marsch’s new era is well underway but inconsistency has struck
  • Big questions for the ownership

@Woodall247: Why are you always faster at tweeting in game updates than Phil Hay? Fastest finger first.

He’s quicker than I am when it comes to goals, but then he can have his on the pasteboard ready to bang into Tweetdeck. Mine are variable depending on the goalscorer. The advent of delayed offside flags and VAR has introduced hesitation, mind.

In the words of Chandler, it bodes well for me that speed impresses you.

@Joe99Gillett: When’s work on the stadium due to start? All seems to have gone quiet since the plans were announced.

Angus Kinnear went on The Square Ball recently and intimated that spades could go into the ground in something like two years time, with a build time of two years after that. It was never going to happen within two or three years of promotion being won.

@k9myp: Do you know if the club have definately decided on 55,000 capacity for the stadium development as there was talk of making the ground 60,000 and do you know where that funding is coming from?

Angus Kinnear recently spoke of a circa £100m cost and the need to secure finance, which they were on with. The club spent close to £1m in the last year in starting the process with feasibility studies and what not.

He also talked about a 55,000 capacity, although it’s a ‘moveable feast.’

@RebeccaK21: Now that the transfer window has closed what are your expectations for Leeds this season and what would you class as a successful season?

I was cautiously optimistic in pre-season, seeing how together the squad were and how quickly the new boys were settling in both on and off the pitch. I still felt 14th would be a fine season and while the start made me think maybe something a little higher was possible, I’ll stick with my original thought.

@lauralufcmot: Do you feel the club should have strengthened at centre-back considering we conceded a lot of goals last season. Adding Ramus doesn’t seem to have made us stronger.

I didn’t think that in the summer and I still don’t. Liam Cooper has been consistent in the Premier League, Robin Koch has started the season very well and if he stays injury free could prove himself to be a perfectly good top flight operator and Pascal Struijk remains a serious prospect. Diego Llorente obviously had a nightmare at Brentford and hasn’t looked close to his best in the last few games but had started relatively well at centre-back. His place is certainly under threat right now.

But considering Leeds also have Leo Hjelde and Charlie Cresswell, who will come back from Millwall a better player with more experience, they look well stocked.

At some stage they will need to buy another centre-back but there were far more pressing priorities in the summer.

Kristensen is a different matter, really. Full-backs in Marsch’s system are asked to get forward and play very high at times, which can risk them being caught out of position. It’s happened to Kristensen and Struijk this season so far. The Dane is taking more time to settle in than some of his fellow new boys - his distribution has been a concern with far too many wayward passes - but he still appears a solid and sensible signing. Some players take longer to adjust than others. Considering Luke Ayling is back and Cody Drameh has stayed put, Kristensen has more than enough competition to keep him on his toes and bring out the best in him.

@ryanward0305: Do you feel Marsch is happy with the transfer window just gone?

Yes but not totally. Getting so many of their priority targets, especially those who know his system so well, was huge for Leeds this summer. It cannot be underestimated, because transfers are horribly complex beasts. But he did want a striker and they needed one. Willy Gnonto is a player with huge potential and he fits into that category of exciting signings who will make an impact at some point, yet he was not what was expressly talked about all summer by Marsch.

That said, in the words of the man himself: “I like our team.”

@L_Alexander20: Given the recent performances in defence, who is our best CB pairing, and do you see Ayling overtaking Rasmus?

I can see Liam Cooper coming in for Diego Llorente and playing alongside Robin Koch. I could also see Junior Firpo having to fight his way back in and Pascal Struijk retaining the left-back position for a little while yet.

As for right-back, Kristensen is really under pressure now that Ayling has come back and, albeit for a short period of one game, made an impact. It will be fascinating to see who gets the nod for Forest, if both men are fit to start.

@lee_88winter: Do you think it was all a smoke screen Leeds maybe pretending to bid for these strikers to keep the fans at bay?

Leeds definitely had a real go at Eddie Nketiah, Charles De Ketelaere and Cody Gakpo. I don’t believe Victor Orta would fly to Holland in the last two days of a window, knowing that news would get out of an attempt to land Gakpo, on a PR stunt.

Besides, everyone at Leeds knew exactly how the failure to get a striker would go down with supporters, so any pursuit that did not result in a signing was going to result in some measure of criticism.

I don’t think you can criticise the targets they went after, because evidently they were given enough encouragement by the players’ camps and their clubs to try and make deals happen. Where they fell down was in not using the time between the end of the De Ketelaere hunt and the last week of the window to act decisively.

@Leechy1987: Do you know what the squad will be doing during the World Cup break? Assuming one or two get called up, will the others have a break or continue training?

There will be some sort of break, I’m sure, but I could also see a training camp of sorts for those staying put. It’s valuable time in which to work with players and return them to peak fitness. It wouldn’t be a surprise at all if clubs, Leeds included, headed off somewhere for a week or two.

@FrankieS215: Any truth to the rumor Leeds are targeting Philadelphia LB Kai Wagner in the winter window? Former Aaronson teammate and top LB in MLS.

There has been enough Stateside noise to suggest there is real interest from Leeds. One to watch but as I’ve said elsewhere, we don’t yet know if Leeds will approach the January window differently now that there’s a new manager in place.