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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

3 Leeds United loanees we can see having an impact at Elland Road in 2023/24

Leeds United have loaned out a number of players this season, and a handful of them will be hopeful that they have done enough to earn a first-team spot for next season.

Investment into the youth side in the last few seasons has seen Leeds boast a strong academy full of players aiming to break into senior football this season.

Opportunities in the Premier League are in short supply, though, and loans were then the best chance for some to go out and play regularly this season.

Some have done a lot better than others in their endeavours, and will be hoping that their performances stand them in good stead for opportunities next term.

Here, we look at three loanees who we can see having an impact at Elland Road next season…

Charlie Cresswell

Heading into 2023, Charlie Cresswell’s loan spell at Millwall looked under threat of being cut short, while reports emerged that Leeds were becoming more tempted to cash in on the defender.

However, with Gary Rowett forced to throw him back into the starting lineup with Shaun Hutchinson injured, he has gone from strength to strength since.

He’s making regular starts and scored his fifth goal of the season earlier in the week in a crucial win over Swansea City to keep up their promotion push.

With Leeds letting Diego Llorente leave on loan, and Robin Koch’s future up in the air, there aren’t many right-footed centre-backs to pick from at the moment.

Should Cresswell continue to impress from this loan until the end of the season, he’s likely to have a part to play next season, no matter the division Leeds are in.

Lewis Bate

Ball-playing midfielders have been in short supply for Leeds this season with Jesse Marsch’s system not really lending itself to Leeds keeping possession for longer than a few moments.

However, any appointment in the summer will surely want to get the most out of Leeds’ technicians in the middle of the park, including Marc Roca and Darko Gyabi – but Lewis Bate should enter that equation too.

Having spent this season with Oxford United, it’s not been a success in terms of where the U’s find themselves in the table, but Bate has grown into his role in the side and looks more than a cut above League One.

An astute passer, Bate would definitely have a part to play for Leeds in the Championship if they are relegated, but could be a very tidy squad player in the Premier League too.

Is Gracia the right manager for Leeds?





Leo Hjelde

Another defender who is destined for big things at Elland Road is Leo Hjelde, who departed for South Yorkshire in January as he joined relegation strugglers Rotherham United.

His first six games for the Millers brought an unbeaten run that now sees them five points clear of the bottom three in the Championship – a platform that they shouldn’t let slip now.

Hjelde’s impact has been immense at the New York Stadium already as the Rotherham fans have fallen in love with the Norway youth international, and it says a lot about his quality that he has been thrown into a relegation battle and is shining so much.

Whether it be at left-back or centre-back, Hjelde is surely going to be a firm part of the first-team next season.

Quiz: How well do you know Leeds United head coach Javi Gracia? Find out here…

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