Four players who remain at Leeds United can all be classed in the £20m bracket, the club’s CEO Angus Kinnear has explained.
Although Leeds lost several of their players after suffering relegation from the Premier League, they have managed to keep hold of a few of their assets upon their return to the Championship.
In an interview with The Square Ball, Kinnear has named Wilfried Gnonto, Illan Meslier, Crysencio Summerville and Pascal Struijk as examples of players they resisted approaches for in the summer.
According to the CEO, the four bargain buys all ought to be worth somewhere in the region of £20m – and some clubs were sniffing around at that level in the most recent transfer window.
Kinnear said: “The recruitment around Marcelo (Bielsa), the season that we went up and the season we finished ninth was great. I think we found some great players.
“I think even in the team we’ve got at the moment, we’ve got Willy Gnonto that we paid next to nothing for. We’ve got Illan Meslier that we paid next to nothing for. We’ve got Summerville that we paid next to nothing for, and Pascal Struijk, we paid next to nothing for. All of whom are £20million players and we received offers of that level.”
The Leeds chief elaborated that a bid they received for Gnonto was even higher than the one they accepted to sell Tyler Adams to Bournemouth (£23m). It was also clarified that Meslier was the subject of an offer “in the mid-2os” and Struijk was valued in the “low teens” by a club trying to capture him.
Leeds aiming for promotion back to Premier League
Those players could now be important to Daniel Farke’s efforts to build a squad capable of challenging for an immediate promotion back to the Premier League. New additions like Joel Piroe, Joe Rodon, Djed Spence, Glen Kamara and Ethan Ampadu will also be aiming to help in that regard.
The amount of departures from Leeds was almost overwhelming, though, and especially frustrating when many of those players left on loan rather than for a transfer fee.
There were serious concerns that, out of the quartet mentioned, Gnonto was pushing to leave Leeds after a solitary season at Elland Road too. However, the club got their wish in the end of keeping him beyond the transfer deadline.
Now, they will be hoping he and his colleagues can prove why they might have felt they belong at the top level – by helping the club to get back there.