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

@qvanderlee_: What is your biggest concern with Marsch so far? Despite an ok start to the season, how much longer does he have until “being new” is no longer an excuse for the team’s inconsistent performances?

I don’t know if you can expect consistency straight away from what is quite a new team. I think it’s important to partition last season from this. The summer was a line in the sand, a new start for Marsch with a squad he helped build. We’re still early on in the season and there have been some positive signs and good results. From the Brighton game onward things haven’t been as good, admittedly and a response is needed against Nottingham Forest. I see that as quite an important game now.

My main concern when Leeds stayed up was the style of play and how there were few signs of coherent, attractive attacking football. I didn’t think that Marsch could last long if that remained the case this season and results went against him. My feeling was that only three or four defeats would remove the patience from Elland Road and heap the pressure on. But the summer and pre-season were largely very positive, the squad gelled well in Australia and they did hit the ground running quite well it has to be said. But let’s see where things lie by the end of October.

@jsimpson7_: Who should start on the left? Sinisterra or Jack Harrison, because left is their favourite side?

I think Sinisterra will be dangerous cutting in from the right, in the way Raphinha was. Hopefully to the same degree. I see Harrison remaining on the left.

@ZiaireSZN: Why was Gnonto pushed forward and is he for the first team?

I don’t think Leeds wanted to emerge from the deadline week completely empty handed and, with James’ move to Fulham so advanced, even lighter in attack than they were at the start of the week. If nothing else it would have been a terrible look and a really difficult sell for fans. So they brought the Gnonto deal forward. He will definitely be in contention for a place in the squad but unless Jesse Marsch’s comments on him not being Premier League ready were incorrect, he might not make an impact until he’s been at the club for a whole.

@DanThompson98: Some big shot Athletic journo wrote an interesting article the other day on Marsch’s touchline behaviour, and whether it would impact referee decisions in the future. Where do you stand on Marsch’s temperament - needs to keep his head down, all part of the theatre, or irrelevant to our superb Prem referees?

Mark Halsey assures me that a referee should consider every player or manager to have a clean slate after each game. One would hope that is the truth. I do worry that by being so performative and then being so open about your tactic in press conferences that referees will naturally resist any attempt to be persuaded that they’re giving Leeds a rough time. I also worry that the sight of a manager losing it in such a way on the touchline will put the team’s composure at risk. We all saw late last season how costly it can be when head-loss sets in with those red cards.

@bielsaball79: Leeds became the target of jokes on transfer deadline day, not for the first time, which isn’t a great look for the club. Do you think they’ll put action in place to avoid this again? As much as I support Radrizanni for how he’s moved the club forward in his tenure, surely he has to look at his own social media activity and consider that it has become detrimental to the club’s image.

Andrea Radrizzani’s ‘liking’ of a tweet about Leeds re-entering the race for Cody Gakpo certainly sent some hares running and, with Jesse Marsch plainly sticking to the brief of saying nothing on their transfer deadline day plans, the majority owner put out a Tweet that proved most unfortunate in tone, content and timing. Confirming your belief that Bamba Dieng is going to sign, before he’s even on the plane to England, even if you’re convinced he will be on the flight, is a risky, risky move.

It’s hard to understand the need to do that, particularly when transfer deadline day is exactly the kind of day on which things can go wrong.

As for deadline day and the club’s plans - they believe they had a good window overall and can point to plenty of evidence. Deadline day did not go to plan at all and I’m sure every club sets out to avoid that.

@Mad_Marko: What’s happening with Alfie McCalmont? Surprised he couldn’t find a club, was there really nobody in for him or does he believe he can force his way into first team plans? Also is Stuart McKinstry still in the clubs mind as a prospect or has his time passed without progress? Max Dean too?

I too was surprised McCalmont could not get an EFL move that suited. Even on the back of two disappointing loan spells last season, there was surely a number of League Two sides in the market for a goalscoring central midfielder. It’s a set-back but hopefully come January there will be a gap he can fill in a suitable League One or League Two club.

As for McKinstry, last season did not see him advance in terms of senior reckoning. A good season with Motherwell and plenty of game time could have a big say in what happens next.

Max Dean would lie behind Mateo Joseph and Sonny Perkins right now. He’s only 18 but must grab every opportunity he can. Seems like the kind of player who would relish a scrap, though.

@MD_Leeds: hat is the current state of play re Jean Kevin Augustin. It’s nearly 6 months since the CAS hearing, they wouldn’t normally take that long to make a decision on a relatively straight forward arbitration case would they? Phil was reporting RBL accepted the initial payment for Tyler Adams being delayed. That seems unusual and might suggest some cordiality to relations. Is it possible the clubs have had a decision from CAS and are keeping it confidential or have reached some other settlement between themselves?

CAS publish their decisions so if one had been reached I figure we would know by now. It’s possible that they’re helping the two clubs to come to some agreement and are not there yet. We were told in the summer, though, that the summer deals with Red Bull were very much separate to anything that went on previously over Jean-Kevin Augustin.