18 July 2024

Club statement: Daniel Farke - Norwich City

The Whites were truly rinsed by a failed short-term acquisition.

Leeds United put plenty of measures in place to aid in their pursuit of retaining Premier League status last term, but in the end, their efforts proved frivolous. They dropped into the Championship like a stone, with the effects set to be long-lasting.

It seems that the hierarchy was more intent on altering the playing squad rather than looking towards the management staff, as Jesse Marsch was only dismissed in February, leaving Javi Gracia and Sam Allardyce little chance to fix the mess he had created.

Former Watford boss Javi Gracia named Valencia head coach | Football News |  Sky Sports

What made the timing of his sacking so ludicrous was that the Whites had handed the American tactician both of the transfer windows from that season, first allowing him to unload untold riches in the summer before he broke their club record transfer in January.

Much of the blame must fall on his shoulders for the failures of that year, with his combination with Victor Orta providing some of the worst footballing decisions in the club’s recent history.

That’s not to suggest that the players were completely free of blame though, with a selection of the squad certainly downing tools despite their chances of survival remaining alive until the final game of the campaign. It is a testament to the lack of commitment shown to the club that 15 players departed this summer, with Daniel Farke having navigated the perilous window well.

Who performed well for Leeds United last season?

In a year where it felt like nobody really stood out, there were a few key players who did hold their own despite the tough season endured.

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Tyler Adams was one such name, whose 6.98 average match rating, as per Sofascore, made him the highest-rated player of those who made five or more starts.

Rodrigo was another who shone, as his 13 league strikes offered a sole attacking impetus as they struggled to keep the ball out of their own net.

However, given the manner of the term, it is more pertinent to outline those who did not perform for Marsch, Gracia and Allardyce. One such name that shoots to mind is Weston McKennie, who was brought in by the former in what many assumed to be a rather shrewd piece of business.

In fact, pundit Tony Dorigo even billed the USA international for instant success: “With Klichy [Mateusz Klich] going, the [Weston] McKennie move is just perfect because we need that box-to-box player. We [Leeds] were linked with various people but McKennie was the one that I wanted and I am delighted that we have got him because I have seen a lot of him at Juventus and I know exactly what he can do”.

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