Leeds United

Leeds United


Five Leeds stars the Whites are vulnerable to losing if they don’t win promotion

Ryan Baldi
Leeds could lose several key players if they fail to get promoted

Leeds could lose several key players if they fail to get promoted

Leeds United enjoyed a phenomenal start to 2024. Daniel Farke’s men shot to the top of the Championship table by March behind a spectacular run that saw them collect 12 wins from 13 games with an aggregate score of 28-3 across that period.

More recently, though, the Whites have cooled off and face a tough play-off semi-final against Norwich City as they eye Premier League football.

The first leg was a nervy affair and finished 0-0 at Carrow Road, with everything still to play for at Elland Road in the second leg on Thursday 16th of May.

But if Leeds are unable to secure promotion, here are five Elland Road stars who could be heading for the exit door should they miss out on promotion.

Crysencio Summerville

Dutch forward Crysencio Summerville has not only been the standout performer at Elland Road this season but in the entire second tier, a fact recognised as he was named the Championship Player of the Season.

The 22-year-old has scored 19 goals and provided nine assists in the league this term and he is already reportedly receiving interest from clubs in the Premier League and Europe.

Leeds signed Summerville from Feyenoord in 2020 and have taken a steady approach with his development. It has paid dividends this season as they hope to bounce back up to the Premier League behind the dynamic winger’s production. If they fall short, Summerville is likely to be playing top-flight football elsewhere.

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Georginio Rutter

France under-21 international Georginio Rutter has – like Leeds as a whole – suffered a dip in form of late, but his performances over the course of the 2023-24 season will mean he is in high demand should Farke’s side be forced to settle for at least one more season in the second tier.

The 21-year-old forward, whom Leeds signed from German club Hoffenheim 18 months ago, has not registered a goal contribution in his last nine outings, with his fall-off coinciding with a hernia issue that was surgically repaired during the last international break.

Despite this, however, he still ranks second in the division for assists, with his total of 15 just two behind Ipswich left-back Leif Davis.

If Rutter can show a full recovery from his minor mid-season operation, he could play a vital role in their remaining play-off fixtures.

Ethan Ampadu

Former Chelsea prodigy Ethan Ampadu has been outstanding at the heart of the Leeds defence since joining the club in a £7 million deal last summer.

Once regarded as one of the top talents in the country, the former RB Leipzig and Venezia loanee has struggled to find a footing in the game in recent years, cast out for a string of temporary spells elsewhere amid a lack of opportunities at Stamford Bridge.

But having finally left Chelsea on a permanent basis, he has made a home for himself in West Yorkshire and shown exactly why he was so highly regarded to begin with. He was named the PFA Championship Player of the Month for March for his part in helping Farke’s side keep three clean sheets, and was handed the Leeds Player of the Year award.

Ampadu is vastly experienced, having already played top-flight football in three countries while accumulating 51 caps for Wales. Yet he is still only 23 years old. His maturing skillset, relative youth and stellar performances at Elland Road this term will make him an attractive transfer target for Premier League clubs.

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Daniel James

Given that he has already had three stabs at the Premier League – first with Manchester United, then Leeds and last season on loan with Fulham – with limited success, prospective top-flight suitors might be reticent to hand Daniel James another shot next term if Leeds fail to earn promotion.

But judging the 26-year-old Welsh speedster on the merits of the 2023-24 campaign he has delivered at Elland Road, he appears more than ready to give the Premier League another crack.

James has scored 13 Championship goals from the right side of Leeds’ attack, while also chipping in with seven assists. He is the club’s second-highest scorer and only Summerville and Rutter have been directly involved in more league goals.

Archie Gray

He only turned 18 in March but Archie Gray is already being tipped for a bright in the senior England team.

An under-21 international, the skilled, athletic and versatile youngster has shone in the Championship this season whether playing at right-back or in central midfield, making 46 starts in what has been his breakthrough campaign.

If genetics are any indicator of future success, Gray is destined for great things. He comes from fine football stock. His father, Andy, was a professional footballer for almost two decades, including two spells with Leeds. His grandfather Frank was a Scotland international who played nearly 200 league games for the Whites. And his great-uncle Eddie is a bona fide Elland Road icon.

Whether Archie matches the Leeds legacy of his famous footballing family remains to be seen. Liverpool and Bayern Munich have already been linked with £50 million moves for the gifted teenager.

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