Leeds United Opinion: Why the Whites should go all out to sign Ryan Kent?
According to a report from the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds United are interested in signing Liverpool winger Ryan Kent.
The 22-year-old spent the last season on loan at Rangers from Liverpool and was a revelation for Steven Gerrard’s side, winning the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year award.
Ryan Kent has been on the books of Liverpool since 2003, but the 22-year-old winger has yet to break into the first team. He has had loan spells at Coventry City, Barnsley, SC Freiburg, Bristol City and Rangers.
The 22-year-old is wanted back by Rangers, but he is open to a Leeds United switch. With three years remaining on his contract another loan could be on the cards for Kent, but Liverpool may consider his sale this summer. That being said, the Whites must go all out to sign Kent from the Reds.
After coming so close to winning promotion last season only to crash out in the play-off semi-finals, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa has to bring back his squad together and have a go at promotion next term. The Yorkshire giants need more depth in the squad to tackle the rigorous demands of a Championship season and Bielsa would be well aware of that, having seen his team suffer from fatigue and injuries this past campaign.
One of the most important areas Bielsa must strengthen is the attack, with a speedy winger the need of the hour. They are in need of more attacking options, with Patrick Bamford and Kemar Roofe the only first-team forwards available to Bielsa. And thus, signing Kent from Liverpool would be the best move for both the parties.
Kent has just returned to Anfield following the most productive spell of his career thus far under the tutelage of Rangers boss Steven Gerrard in Glasgow in 2018-19. He ended the year with six goals and nine assists across all competitions, demonstrating brilliant pace, power and directness in Scotland.
At Leeds, the 22-year-old would certainly add plenty of pace and power on the wings, and would be a real threat against any Championship defence. The Liverpool starlet’s potential addition could see Pablo Hernandez move into a more suited, CAM role in Bielsa’s starting XI, and with Kent and Alioski either side of him, Leeds will be a huge threat going forward.
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Kent clearly has plenty of potential, and his attacking threat would be another welcome option for Leeds, who seemed to struggle in that area towards the end of the season.
The progress Leeds have made in the past 12 months under Bielsa has been noteworthy and they aren’t far from finally ending their stay outside the Premier League. And signing a player of Kent’s quality would provide the Whites with the boost they need ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.
[Image] Here’s the EFL Championship TOTW for gameweek 7 featuring Middlesbrough and Leeds stars
2019-20 EFL Championship: Team of the Week Round 7
Round 7 of the 2019-20 EFL Championship had everything in store for all sections of the fans to savour and admire, as the players returned to action following the end of the international break.
There was hardly any shortage of twists, turns and talking points in Round 7. Leeds United reclaimed top spot in the standings, Swansea and Charlton Athletic lost their unbeaten status, Stoke City and Huddersfield Town continued their losing habits and West Brom remained the only unbeaten side in the division.
There were some fantastic individual performances too, and with that in mind, here’s the Team of the Week for Round 7 in a 4-3-3 formation.
Championship Team of the Week
Darren Randolph (GK)
The Irish shot-stopper made some crucial saves to propel Middlesbrough to a 1-0 victory over Reading at the Riverside Stadium and he definitely deserves a place in the elite elven.
Scott Malone (LB)
Derby County remained in the bottom half with a 1-1 draw against Cardiff City but the left-back put in a much-improved performance as compared to his previous outings and scored the Rams’ only goal.
Maxime Colin (RB)
Birmingham City broke into the top-ten by ending Charlton’s unbeaten run with a 1-0 victory away from home, and the Frenchman was instrumental in the Blues’ win with his solid display at the back.
Derrick Williams (CB)
The Irish centre-back was one of the standout performers, as Blackburn Rovers got themselves back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Millwall.
Darragh Lenihan (CB)
One of the architects of Blackburn’s victory at the weekend, the Irish defender is one of the surprise inclusions in this week’s elite eleven.
Kalvin Phillips (CDM)
The central midfielder put up yet another dogged display in the midfield to guide Leeds United to a 2-0 victory over Barnsley, registering an assist with a free-kick for Nketiah’s goal.
Eberechi Eze (RAM)
The Nigerian has really come of age for QPR this term and the attacking midfielder was once again one of the driving forces behind his team’s 3-2 victory over Luton Town, registering a goal and an assist in the process.
Mateusz Klich (LAM)
The Polish international once again proved his worth as one of Marcelo Bielsa’s trusted lieutenants in the middle of the park and secured a 2-0 victory for his team with a well-taken penalty towards the end of the game.
Robert Glatzel (RW)
The towering German centre-forward equalised from the penalty spot for Cardiff City in the Bluebirds’ 1-1 draw against Derby County and finally registered his first goal of the EFL Championship.
Harry Cornick (LW)
Luton lost a five-goal thriller at Loftus Road but Cornick impressed with a goal and an assist in what was a fine individual performance.
Nakhi Wells (ST)
A proven source of goals in the EFL Championship, Wells bagged a brace in QPR’s 3-2 victory over Luton Town to hand Mark Warburton’s side a third consecutive victory in the league.
3 Winners and 3 Losers from Championship gameweek 7 including Leeds United and Swansea City
2019-20 EFL Championship: 3 Winners and 3 Losers from Round 7
The players returned to action for their respective clubs this weekend when the international break finally came to an end and Round 7 of the 2019-20 EFL Championship witnessed quite a few twists and turns, most notably, with Leeds United displacing Swansea City to reclaim the top spot in the standings.
Swansea and newly-promoted Charlton Athletic both saw their unbeaten run in the division come to a halt, while Stoke City and Huddersfield Town once again finished the week at the bottom of the table with defeats against Bristol City and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.
Elsewhere, West Brom drew 1-1 away at Fulham to remain the only unbeaten side in the Championship after seven rounds. Without further ado, let us take a look at 3 winners and 3 losers from Round 7:
1. Leeds United
A narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Swansea City at home in the previous league fixture saw Leeds United go into the international break placed second in the standings but Marcelo Bielsa’s side reclaimed the top spot with a comfortable 2-0 victory away at Barnsley on Sunday, overtaking the Swans, who slumped to an unexpected 1-0 defeat at home against Nottingham Forest.
The Whites dominated the proceedings but it took them as long as 84 minutes to finally break the deadlock, thanks to Eddie Nketiah’s opener off a free kick from Kalvin Phillips.
Nketiah then earned the penalty for Mateusz Klich to make it 2-0 just before the end of the game and the Yorkshire giants should be pleased to get back to the top of the table after a long and hard grind against the newly-promoted outfit.
2. Bristol City
The Robins went into the fixture against Stoke City away from home on the back of an unbeaten run of five games in the EFL Championship and a 2-1 victory saw Lee Johnson’s side stretch their streak to six games.
Sam Clucas gave the Potters the lead with a crisp strike from inside the box but Stoke were always going to be in trouble after Joe Allen received a straight red card for a horrible lunge.
Famara Diedhiou’s header levelled the scores in the 55th minute before a failed goalline clearance from Tom Edwards sealed things for Bristol City, who finished the week placed 4th in the standings.
Queens Park Rangers had the chance to make it three in a row in the Championship this weekend when they played host to newly-promoted Luton Town at Loftus Road, having beaten Wigan Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday prior to the international break.
And Mark Warburton’s side edged past the Hatters in a 3-2 thriller on Saturday, with the victory pushing them to 7th place in the standings just behind the likes of West Brom and Preston on goal difference.
When Eberechi Eze opened the scoring in the third minute and Nakhi Wells made it 3-0 before the half-hour mark with a quickfire brace, it looked as if the hosts were heading for a pretty straightforward victory.
Luton, though, showed a lot of character to get back into the game with goals from Harry Cornick and James Collins but that wasn’t enough to prevent QPR from making it 4 wins out of 7.
1. Swansea City
Swansea started Round 7 at the top of the standings after their victory over Leeds United in the last game but Steve Cooper’s side saw their unbeaten run come to a sudden halt at the hands of Nottingham Forest, who bagged all three points at the Liberty Stadium courtesy of Alfa Semedo’s 85th-minute goal.
The Swans had more of the possession throughout the game but they failed to create enough clear-cut chances and Cooper has every reason to be disappointed with his team’s efforts after the international break.
2. Charlton Athletic
Charlton’s fairytale start to the EFL Championship finally came to an end this weekend as the Addicks went down 1-0 to Birmingham City at The Valley, courtesy of a solitary strike from Jude Bellingham in the second half.
The Addicks enjoyed a lot of possession and carved out a few decent chances but it just wasn’t their day in front of goal and they will be looking to get themselves back to winning ways when they make the trip to Wigan Athletic next week.
3. Stoke City
The fans at the Bet 365 Stadium would have hoped for the turnaround of fortunes for their team after the international break but it wasn’t to be, as Bristol City beat the Potters 2-1 on their home turf to inflict a fourth straight defeat in the Championship and sixth overall in the league so far.
Sam Clucas’ early opener certainly gave them hope but Bristol City were always going to be the favourites when Joe Allen received a straight red card in the 12th minute. Up next for Nathan Jones’ side is a trip to Brentford.
2 Highs and 2 Lows from Leeds United’s start to the season
2 Highs and 2 Lows from how Leeds United have started the season
Leeds United have made a positive start to life in their second season under the reign of Marcelo Bielsa after a playoff defeat earlier in the summer damned them to yet another campaign of Championship football.
A 1-0 defeat to Swansea City at home last weekend ended the Whites’ unbeaten run in the league but the manager has plenty of positives to take from the club’s impressive start to the ongoing campaign.
Indeed, those agonising memories of how Leeds blew away a golden chance to make it back to the Premier League last season are still likely to be fresh in the minds of the supporters.
However, the Whites have already laid down an early marker that they are once again going to be strong contenders for promotion this term and with that in mind, let us take a look at a few positives and negatives from their start to the season.
1. Absolutely no hangover of last season’s failure
Having seen their hopes of making a much-awaited return to the Premier League come to nothing last season, it was always going to be intriguing to see whether Leeds United would be able to put all the disappointment behind them and raise themselves to compete for promotion all over again.
Well, it’s only six games into the season but the fans at Elland Road should be pleased with the way their team has performed in the opening rounds of the season.
Those monsters from last season’s play-off agony against Derby County have hardly come back to haunt the Whites and the players certainly haven’t lacked any sort of commitment and motivation, as evident from their performances so far.
In fact, Leeds have looked like a well-oiled unit in most of the games and when at their best, the Whites have produced some sparkling attacking football to ensure that the fans get their money’s worth.
Leeds were the architects of their own downfall for a number of reasons towards the end of last season and Marcelo Bielsa certainly deserves a lot of credit for inspiring his team to a promising start this term.
2. Bamford and Nketiah getting amongst the goals
One of the key takeaways from Leeds United’s failed bid for promotion in the previous campaign was the absence of a prolific striker, with Kemar Roofe’s tally of 15 goals not enough to match the exploits of some of his counterparts from the promotion rivals.
And plenty of eyebrows were raised when the Whites sanctioned the sale of last season’s top-scorer, Roofe, this summer, whilst bringing in youngster Eddie Nketiah on loan from Arsenal to provide cover and competition for Patrick Bamford.
Bamford struggles with injuries and his failure to deliver the goods consistently had come back to haunt Leeds badly last season but the fans will breathe a sigh of relief following the former Chelsea man’s promising start to the ongoing campaign.
The 26-year-old has already chipped in with 4 goals and an assist in 6 starts, while Nketiah, yet to start a game in the league, has already netted thrice in all competitions, including the winner as a substitute in the 1-0 victory over Brentford.
With Tyler Roberts also on the comeback trail from injury, Leeds will be hoping that Bamford and Nketiah continue their impressive run of form in front of goal and more importantly, manage to keep themselves free of injuries.
1. Home Form
Bielsa, though, is likely to be aware of his team’s inconsistent run of form in the home fixtures since the second half of the previous campaign.
Leeds turned Elland Road into a fortress in the earlier stages of the 2018-19 season but their home form took a significant turnaround in the latter stages of the campaign, something that has continued to haunt them this term as well.
Leeds have won only one of their three fixtures in the Championship this season, with the Whites accumulating just 4 points in those 3 league games.
They also lost at home to Stoke City in the second round of the EFL Cup, a result which came as a surprise to many.
2. Defending Set-Pieces
Leeds currently boast of the best defensive record in the Championship, having conceded only thrice in their first six games in the league.
With new signing Ben White taking well to the surroundings at Elland Road and filling the void left by the departure of Pontus Jansson, the Yorkshire giants have looked rock solid at the back so far.
However, it is worth mentioning here that 3 of the 5 goals that they have conceded in all competitions so far have come from corners, a fact that might have gone under the radar due to their impressive start to the season.
That seems pretty ironical though, given that both White and Liam Cooper are strong in the air and very much adept at dealing with crosses.
This is something that a detail-oriented manager like Bielsa would have taken note of and the Argentine will certainly point it out to his defenders on the training ground once the international break gets over.
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Plus, the goal that they conceded against Swansea was a result of some sloppy defending, to be honest, with the players failing to get the ball away to safety on a number of occasions.
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