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Three current Leeds United players who will thrive in the Premier League

Judging by recent form, not one of the Championship’s leading triumvirate want to go up automatically. If indeed there is a race for the two consecrated promotion spots, then at present, it’s one of the wheelbarrow variety whereby the contestants stumble, trip and clatter their way towards the finish line.

With that in mind, let’s bypass recent troubles and seriously tempt fate by gazing deep into the crystal ball which reveals to us a triumphant Leeds side reclaiming their topflight status and ask the question; from the current squad which three players will thrive in the Premier League if Daniel Farke’s team are promoted?

Ethan Ampadu

Due to the loan circus which engulfed the club last summer, the early days of the Farke reign burned slowly. One bright light who shone from the very start though was Ampadu. After being punted from pillar to post in the loveless, transactional environment of Chelsea’s loan system, his years of nomadism were finally ended when he signed on permanently at Elland Road in July.

In the white of Leeds and the red of Wales, Ampadu has consistently operated with an authority coupled with a coolness which betrays his tender years and relative rawness as a first team player. Be it breaking up play in the middle of the park or operating cheek by jowl with fellow Welshman Joe Rodon in the heart of defence, he’s quite simply been rock solid.

By accident or design, in the Premier League, Leeds will at times be much deeper than they have been in the Championship – this is where both Ampadu’s reading of the game and his propensity for precision with vertical passes will come to the fore.

In a nutshell Ampadu is ready for the Premier League, but maybe he always has been.

Archie Gray

At long last, the hallowed turf of Elland Road has been blessed by the latest alumnus of the Gray School of footballing wizardry, which counts among its esteemed ranks European Cup winners and men who played in the snow but left no footprints behind. Exalted company indeed, but the younger

Gray isn’t there for the sake of romanticism or nostalgia, he’s there on pure merit and promise.

Rising through the ranks, Gray’s journey to the first team has been inexorable and in his breakthrough year he hasn’t just held his own, he’s excelled.

Be it right-back or the centre of midfield, such is the gracefulness on the ball, the speed of thought and agility you would be forgiven for thinking this was a seasoned pro, not a boy scarcely old enough to buy an alcoholic drink.

After successfully serving his apprenticeship in the Championship, Gray’s ready to get to work in the Premier League.

Dan James

This is the part where we take a handbrake turn from convention and throw in the wildcard. It hasn’t always been plain sailing for James at Leeds; indeed, it hasn’t always been plain sailing for James his entire career. In a relatively short period of time, he’s careered into brick walls professionally and suffered hardship personally. He’s been cast aside and cut adrift out on loan only to return to Leeds reinvigorated, determined and resilient, subsequently emerging from the detritus of the Marsh epoch to become one of the first names on the team sheet.

Parallels can be drawn between his loan spell away from the club and re-emergence to prominence with that of Mateusz Klich – not bad company to be in. But it’s not just his driven disposition that will see him succeed in the division above, it’s his skillset as a player – pace to burn, close control and an eye for goal. As mentioned previously, Leeds will be forced deeper next season, allowing James to utilise his pace on the break as defenders vacate the space he loves to burst into.

Dan James this season has put clear daylight between his abilities and the second tier of English football. This was his recalibration as a Leeds player, next up is his as Premier League player.

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