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Leeds United loan army: How Farke’s 13 loanees are faring and what their immediate future holds

Leeds loanees Jack Harrison (Everton), Luis Sinisterra (Bournemouth) and Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin)

Leeds loanees Jack Harrison (Everton), Luis Sinisterra (Bournemouth) and Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin)

Leeds have a great chance of securing an immediate return to the Premier League and we’ve looked at the current situation around their army of loanees who could, in theory, return to Elland Road once the current campaign ends.

They currently have 13 players out on loan, some of whom have option-to-buy clauses included in their deals, which are dependent on if Leeds are promoted.

The Whites currently sit in third place in the Championship table – one point away from the automatic play-off spots.

Not all of these players will necessarily return to Elland Road, though, especially if they are performing well at their new clubs.

Jack Harrison – Everton

Jack Harrison joined Everton on loan in the summer transfer window and has gradually become one of their most important players.

The 27-year-old’s relentless energy and pressing makes him perfect for the Sean Dyche system. Typically a winger, he has also featured down the middle as an attacking midfielder this season.

Harrison missed the first five games of the season through injury but has now made 24 appearances for Everton, scoring four goals and making three assists.

He recently said he “couldn’t have asked for any more” in terms of his welcome to the Merseyside club, where he is playing a key role in their relegation battle.

Reports suggest that Harrison’s loan does not include an option to buy, but his contract does have a release clause that can be activated during his time at Goodison Park – thought to be set at around £20m.

Everton will not be able to trigger that clause if Leeds are promoted this season, however, so he may yet end up back at the Yorkshire club.

Luis Sinisterra – Bournemouth

Perhaps the most exciting Leeds loanee, Luis Sinisterra sealed a loan switch to Bournemouth in September, which saw Jaidon Anthony go the other way as part of the deal.

Andoni Iraola has been extremely impressed with the 24-year-old’s contributions so far and even considered making a bid to sign him permanently last month.

Sinisterra has featured in 17 matches for Bournemouth so far, netting three times and laying on three assists.

He has played a key role in the Cherries’ recent good form that has seen them rise to 12th in the Premier League table.

They have the option to buy Sinisterra permanently this summer for a fee in excess of £20m, but again, this will only be valid if Leeds fail to get promoted.

AC Milan are also interested in signing Sinisterra, however, and are reportedly willing to pay around €30m (£25.4m) to get him. 

Max Wober – Borussia Monchengladbach

Leeds signed centre-back Max Wober in January 2023 for £11m as they looked to improve their defence to avoid relegation last season.

The Austria international was unable to stop the Whites from going down and he was keen to leave in the summer, securing a loan switch to Monchengladbach.

Wober has made 15 Bundesliga appearances so far this term. His team have kept just one clean sheet in the league when he has featured.

Leeds received a loan fee of around €500,000 (£425,000) for Wober. There is no option to buy included in the agreement, so he may well end up back at Elland Road.

Brenden Aaronson – Union Berlin

There was real excitement when Jesse Marsch signed Brenden Aaronson from RB Salzburg for £25m – making him Leeds’ third-most expensive addition in their history.

However, the United States international failed to live up to the hype at Elland Road, scoring just one Premier League goal last season.

Aaronson signed for Union Berlin on a season-long loan in July but has carried his poor form into the Bundesliga, failing to score or assist in 15 outings so far.

Daniel Farke reportedly considered recalling the attacking midfielder from his loan last month but he ended up staying in Germany.

It seems unlikely that Union Berlin would have any interest in signing Aaronson permanently, so he looks set to return to Leeds in the summer, though faces something of an uncertain future still.

Rasmus Kristensen – Roma

Rasmus Kristensen has enjoyed a decent season after securing a season-long move to Italian giants Roma.

The right-back has made 22 Serie A appearances so far this term, contributing one goal, two assists and helping the Giallorossi to six clean sheets.

However, only 13 of those outings have been starts and the loan agreement does not include an option to buy. Kristensen could, therefore, be find himself back at Leeds again from the summer.

READ MOREJack Harrison drops biggest hint yet on permanent Everton transfer with comments that will irk Leeds fans

Marc Roca – Real Betis

Marc Roca was an exciting addition for Leeds when the midfielder was signed for £10.9m in the summer of 2022.

The feeling in the first few months of his time in the Premier League was that the Whites had picked up a bargain.

However, as Leeds’ form dipped, Roca’s effectiveness in the middle of the park dwindled and he was unable to prevent their relegation.

Roca had a clause in his contract that said if Leeds were relegated he could leave on loan and he signed for Real Betis on a season-long deal in July.

The 27-year-old has been an important player for Betis this season, scoring two goals and making two assists in 20 LaLiga matches so far.

The Spanish club have the option to buy him for €12m (£10.2m), but given their ongoing financial problems they may struggle to afford that fee, despite the player making clear his willingness to make the move permanent.

Even though he could theoretically return to Elland Road, the form of Ilia Gruev and Ethan Ampadu means his chances of game-time are virtually zero and Leeds will surely look to sell him for the best fee possible as a result.

Diego Llorente – Roma

Like Kristensen, Diego Llorente joined Roma on a season-long loan last summer. He has featured more than his fellow Leeds loanee – starting 20 Serie A games.

Reports suggest that Roma are planning on triggering his buy-option (reportedly set as low as just £4.2m) at the end of the season and then plan to immediately sell him on for a bigger fee.

With that in mind, it’s likely that the centre-back has already played his last match for Leeds. Llorente has made 59 appearances in total for the Whites after joining them back in 2202.

Sam Greenwood – Middlesbrough

Sam Greenwood is currently on loan with Leeds’ Championship rivals Middlesbrough, where he has got plenty of playing time under Michael Carrick.

The attacking midfielder has scored five goals and made three assists in 24 league appearances for Boro.

The Teessiders have the option to buy Greenwood for a bargain fee of £1.5m, though that’s only if the player agrees to the move and amid claims his form has alerted some sides higher up the food chain.

In the meantime, Greenwood will hope that he can help his new side secure a play-off spot this season and get them promoted into the Premier League themselves – though that won’t be an easy task.

Cody Drameh – Birmingham City

Right-back Cody Drameh joined Leeds from Fulham in 2021 and has been sent out on loan to Cardiff and Luton Town, before signing for Birmingham on a season-long deal last summer.

He has made 19 Championship appearances for the Blues this term and his contract at Elland Road expires in June.

Birmingham do have an option to make the 22-year-old’s loan from Leeds United a permanent transfer.

However, given his contract situation, the decision on his next club rests with Drameh and he will likely have other suitors.

Darko Gyabi – Plymouth Argyle

Leeds expected big things from midfielder Darko Gyabi when they forked out £5m to bring him to the club from Manchester City in summer 2022. However, after finding minutes to come by, he has fallen rapidly down the pecking order and was loaned out to Plymouth last month.

The 19-year-old hopes the move to Home Park can revitalise his career though and having started Plymouth’s last three league games, will hope to continue playing a big role under their new manager Ian Foster.

If Leeds are promoted to the Premier League, it’s likely that he will go out on loan again next season, or maybe even moved on, with Gyabi some way off challenging for a starting role at Elland Road.

Luke Ayling – Middlesbrough

Luke Ayling remains a cult hero at Leeds but the 32-year-old has almost certainly played his last game for the Yorkshire club.

Middlesbrough snapped the experienced right-back up in mid-January and he has made three appearances for them so far.

Ayling has just six months remaining on his Leeds contract and will become a free agent at the end of the season.

Whether Boro will look to sign him on a permanent deal still remains to be seen.

Ian Poveda – Sheffield Wednesday

23-year-old winger Ian Poveda sealed a loan switch to Sheffield Wednesday on the last day of the winter transfer window.

His task will be to try and help the Owls avoid relegation to League One this season. They currently sit second-bottom of the Championship – nine points adrift from safety.

Poveda’s Leeds contract is set to expire in June, meaning he will become a free agent at the end of the season unless Farke hands him an extension, which is very unlikely at this stage.

Lewis Bate – MK Dons

Leeds paid £1.5m to sign Bate from Chelsea in summer 2021 and the midfielder has made just four appearances so far.

Having been loaned to Oxford last season, Bate made the move to MK Dons in League Two this campaign, where he has made just four appearances so far.

With his deal at Elland Road expiring this summer, he’s likely played his last game for the club regardless of what division Leeds find themselves in and a free-transfer switch to whichever club his agent can fix him up with now beckons.

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