We take a look at the three players we feel Leeds United supporters should be watching with a close eye when they travel to Italy.
Earlier in the month, Leeds United confirmed they are set travel to Italy during pre-season and could face Massimo Cellino’s former side, Cagliari, as they prepare for promotion push in the Championship next season. Although Leeds have yet to announce their pre-season programme, the club have confirmed they will be staying in Santa Cristina, Val Gardena in Italy.
Massimo Cellino, along with David Hockaday, are reportedly due to start pre-season training today and with emphasis on young players breaking into the Leeds first-team squad then the training camp could be a door opening for some players to come out of nowhere and make a big impact, for others, it’s a case of impressing the new owner and head coach to make sure they’re part of the first-team plans for next season.
Here are three players who Leeds United supporters should be looking out for at their pre-season training camp and who could look to make the biggest improvements.
The 18-year-old will be full of confidence going into training and could well be the one to watch this season.
After helping the England under 17s to winning the European Championship, he will be full of hope he can have a similar impact with Leeds United next season, along with other graduates Alex Mowatt and Chris Dawson.
Described as a ‘tough-tackler’ by the FA, he could well be, despite his age, the man to add a bit more metal to the Leeds midfield.
The 20-year-old speed merchant will be hopeful of having a bigger impact to play in next season and could look to start his fight for a place in the Leeds United line-up as early as today and all the way through the Italian pre-season.
Leading up to the campaign, the 20-year-old has announced his determination to go out and score goals in a Leeds United shirt. However, he faces stiff competition in Matt Smith and Ross McCormack for a starting spot so does need to really go out and impress in Italy under new head coach Dave Hockaday if he is to land a starting spot next season.
The extremely talented 20-year-old, last season, came undone by poor physical fitness largely down to the huge amount of niggling injuries he suffered during pre-season and subsequently through the whole campaign.
Therefore, the young full-back will respect how key a good pre-season is to a good season and will undoubtedly want to build his fitness back up to the standard which saw him win all the Player of the Year awards two-years ago.
A fully fit Sam Byram would give Leeds fans a huge boost as they try and remain optimistic about their promotion chances next season.
The trip will give certain Leeds United players a chance to stake a claim for a first-team spot next season. Whilst for others, it could be the confidence boosting trip needed to try and forget what was a fairly unremarkable season last time round.