Leeds United’s second season back in the Premier League starts in just under three weeks and fans are ecstatic to finally be able to see the team play Premier League football in the flesh.
Whilst new signings may be on the forefront of most people’s mind, there are still existing players at the club with something to prove.
Today, we are looking at three Leeds players who will surprise us this coming season.
Roberts was the most divisive player for Leeds United last season. Injuries to Rodrigo meant Roberts got more game-time than he probably would have done otherwise, and despite inconsistency throughout his 27 appearances, he finished in fine form. The Welsh international scored his first Premier league goal in the penultimate game of the season against Southampton and signed a contract extension this summer. Marcelo Bielsa clearly believes in him, and he will back himself to improve upon last season’s performances this year.
Shackleton featured sporadically under Marcelo Bielsa in the Championship but found Premier League games to be much harder to come by. He featured just 13 times in the league last season and with his 22nd Birthday looming in October, this feels like it could be a make-or-break season for the energetic midfielder. The likes of Dallas, Klich, Roberts and Rodrigo dominated the midfield spots last season, and with Leeds trying to sign Chelsea’s Connor Gallagher on loan, Shackleton faces an uphill battle to get in the side. But if Bielsa backs him to step up, his pace and energy could provide a spark in the centre of midfield.
Rodrigo ended the season strongly following an injury-hit campaign since joining from Valencia for a club-record fee. A late surge of goals showed his international quality as he surpassed his goal tally from the previous season – notching seven goals from both midfield and a limited stint as striker. Rodrigo will benefit from a full Bielsa pre-season, and if his form towards the tail end of the season is anything to go by, Leeds fans will fall in love with the Spanish international as the season progresses.