After recording a number of impressive victories in the Championship already this season, particularly against Norwich when Daniel Farke marked his return to Carrow Road with some excellent attack-minded substitutions that turned the game on its head, Leeds have adapted to life back in the most competitive league in the country reasonably well. In fact, in terms of mounting a serious promotion push, the signs are good.
Farke has a number of talented players to work with at this level, he seems to be getting the best out of them, and some of the attacking football his new-look side are showcasing has been a joy to watch at times. Perhaps Leicester aside, there’s a strong argument to suggest that the Yorkshire giants are the best side to watch in the division. Despite the evident signs of progress, though, there is some notable transfer speculation surrounding the club that could determine just where the team finishes this season, with new players being lined up for a January move and current performers being chased by clubs in some of the top leagues around.
Thankfully, the club isn’t in a position where it necessarily has to sell its star performers. Likewise, given the team’s realistic quest for promotion back to the Premier League, a number of players will surely be interested in joining the Leeds United project this season should the club make a number of moves in January. Already, speculation is rife as the mad dash for transfers when the window opens in the New Year approaches. Let’s take a brief look at some of the latest speculation below.
Burnley’s interest in Crysencio Summerville won’t go away
When assessing some of Leeds United’s top performers this season, Crysencio Summerville is right up there. Given his clear potential, the young Netherlands youth international is understandably piquing the interest of clubs in the Premier League, with Burnley, a side who are 8/5 for the drop when looking at the Premier League relegation odds, being continually linked with a move for the promising attacker. Whether or not a move to Vincent Kompany’s Clarets will interest Summerville given that both clubs could swap leagues come the end of the season remains to be seen, but the lure of the Premier League is tough for any player in the Championship to refuse. For Leeds United’s sake, hopefully the club manages to fend off any interest in January and hold firm, similar to the stance they took with Willy Gnonto during the summer transfer window.
Meslier could depart Elland Road
After the club’s relegation from England’s top fight, the departure of Illan Meslier looked certain. Against all the odds, though, the club managed to retain the services of the French shot-stopper, although the addition of Karl Darlow from Newcastle United could be a sign that the former Toon Army goalkeeper is ready to fill the void should Meslier leave the Whites during the season. With January around the corner, the impressive goalkeeper could attract interest. While a new goalkeeper signing would then be a priority, at least Daniel Farke has Darlow waiting in the wings should the former Lorient player opt for the exit door.
Noel Törnqvist is being linked
If Meslier does leave the club in January, then Noel Törnqvist could be snapped up to provide competition for Karl Darlow. The 19-year-old Mjällby AIF goalkeeper has been shining in Sweden, with Leeds United’s scouts reportedly tracking his progress over recent months. Should the goalkeeping department need strengthening in January, Noel Törnqvist ticks a lot of boxes and would surely be interested in a move to England.
Willy Gnonto’s exit seems inevitable
After the endless summer speculation that resulted in the club eventually managing to keep hold of Willy Gnonto, it looks extremely likely that the same type of stories surrounding his future will emerge once again in January. Hopefully it doesn’t distract the team given the task at hand in the Championship, although the club’s hierarchy will surely give Gnonto what he wants should a club higher up come calling. Everton could certainly reignite their interest, although a number of big clubs in Italy, such as Fiorentina and Sassuolo, are reportedly in pursuit of the Italian international. Of course, Gnonto could potentially stay at Leeds United and ply his trade in the Premier League once again next season, but should a number of clubs come calling in January, then he could easily try and force a move once again.
Matt O’Riley to bolster the midfield in January?
According to a number of reports, Leeds United were seriously interested in Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley ahead of the start of the Championship campaign. The former MK Dons midfield maestro is a key cog in Celtic’s wheel but could be tempted by a move back down south, particularly if Celtic’s European football mission comes to an end and he’s left with a Premiership title charge to play for. O’Riley could leave Celtic and become a Premier League player next season in the process, something that could really intrigue him should Leeds try and test the Scottish side’s resolve with a bid in January. While it could be a tough signing to pull off at the beginning of 2024, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see Matt O’Riley playing at Elland Road in the near future.
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