Leeds United take to their third successive Premier League season this weekend as they kick things off with a home clash against Wolves.
After narrowly avoiding relegation last season thanks to a dramatic win away to Brentford, things are hopefully looking up where Leeds United and Jesse Marsch are concerned.
A very busy summer transfer window has seen a lot of changes to the starting lineup from 2021/22 heading into 22/23, with two stars leaving and being replaced by heavy investment.
There is plenty of cautious optimism that such a chaotic season won’t happen again this time around, but it’s never simple at Elland Road.
Here, our LeedsAllOver writers Alfie (N12) and Kris (FA5) deliver their predictions for the season ahead…
View from N12: It’s got to be an improvement on 17th, although I think we will find Leeds somewhere in the bottom third of the table.
I’ll go with 14th and a comfortable 14th at that, with Leeds clear of the trouble thanks to a decent start.
View from FA5: I’m confident of a respectable mid-table finish in 13th.
We have bought very well to rectify a lot of the shortcomings in the squad this summer, and when you look around us at plenty of the others expected to be around us, they have either stood still or gone backwards.
Player of the Season
View from N12: Patrick Bamford. After a torrid year, the hope is Bamford can put another 30 game season together and get amongst the goals.
He might even be carrying the armband into the opening day, with a point to prove to match.
I’m backing Leeds’ No9 to be back amongst the goals and landing a Player of the Year award.
View from FA5: Jack Harrison. A summer that has brought some uncertainty over his future will be put behind him, and he will be looking to build on what has been a very impressive 2022 so far with eight league goals.
I think he’s going to show everyone why the club have been so willing to reiterate he is going nowhere, and he’ll do that with goals.
Young Player of the Year
View from N12: There’s a few candidates but I’ll go for Crysencio Summerville. You can’t stress enough how big this coming season is for him.
He’s landed the No10 shirt and has all the self-confidence to step up into the first-team a bit more regularly, just like he wanted.
Expect him to deliver.
View from FA5: I think it’s impossible to look to anyone other than Joe Gelhardt as the leading candidate here, even with the host of youngsters we have looking to feature this season.
His late heroics are a major reason for why we’re still in the Premier League and he’s only going to kick on from here, now that he’s established as a senior name.
Signing of the Season
View from N12: Rasmus Kristensen is going to be a fan favourite, whilst Brenden Aaronson will get Leeds ticking in the final third.
I’m going to go for Marc Roca, though.
The Spaniard’s signing wasn’t one that got me overly excited, but he’s been a great watch in pre-season and he’s got the ability to set the tempo weekly.
View from FA5: I’m very happy with every signing that we have made, but I really like the look of Rasmus Kristensen at right-back.
He’s added power and drive to the full-back positions that have been crying out for it ever since Marsch joined, and you can just see that he’s going to be an instant hit with the fans purely on his committed nature, coupled that with his undoubted quality on the ball too and you have a player that is bound to do well.
View from N12: Liam Cooper because, well, he always is.
The skipper gets some stick and he proved so many people wrong last year. He was crucial to keeping Leeds in the Premier League and he will have a big role in 22/23 again, even if he doesn’t steal the headlines.
View from FA5: Dan James is my prediction for an unsung hero this season, and I say that because I think we’re finally going to see him play in his strongest position out wide.
The cover we now have at striker means we have no reason to play him up front, and we could see some of his best football.
His workmate makes him a valuable asset, but when we actually play to his strengths (even off the bench), he’ll be a really important player for us.
One to watch
View from N12: Sonny Perkins. He’s not going to be in the first-team from the off and he’s not going to get a load of minutes.
I’ve got it on good authority from a West Ham contact that he’s a serious talent, so keep an eye on him pushing up out of the U21s.
View from FA5: I’m going for new ?5million signing Darko Gyabi as the one to watch.
You don’t come to a club worth that much as a teenager without huge potential, and Gyabi has all that it takes to be a really good option for Leeds in the first team, right from the off.
Powerful, confident with both feet, and a very good range of passing, the new five subs rule will definitely mean he should be playing this season.
Hot take for the season
View from N12: Jack Harrison to register more goal involvements than Jack Grealish in the Premier League, just like he has in the last two seasons.
No doubt the ?100m man will still get the nod for England, owing to Gareth Southgate’s tunnel vision.
View from FA5: Luis Sinisterra scores more this season than Luis Diaz.
The Colombians will both be looking to fire the goals in for their teams, but Leeds’ big-money signing could be an instant hit in the Premier League.
One thing you’re desperate to see happen
View from N12: Jesse Marsch succeed and last the season. Another change in the dugout is the last thing Leeds need.
Can I have another? Not getting smashed by Manchester United twice. Let’s have something out of those games.
View from FA5: Patrick Bamford to stay fit.
The Leeds man earned an England callup off the back of his first season in the Premier League with us, and it goes to show what he can truly do when he’s at the peak of his powers.
If he is able to play 30+ games for us this season, not only should we not worry about where goals are going to come from, but he will be fighting for a place back in Southgate’s squad.
I second the Manchester United hammerings point Alfie made, that would also be nice.