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Five options to replace Luke Murphy in the Leeds line-up, including possible new signings

A look at how Leeds United could seek to replace Luke Murphy if he is not fit for the start of the season.

Leeds United's season preparations took a real blow yesterday with the news Luke Murphy suffered a knee injury in training.

The BBC reported Murphy has undergone surgery and will miss the first few weeks of the season.

He was a key part of a midfield trio which included youngsters Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook, and Leeds will need to plan accordingly.

There are three realistic options of players already at the club, while two potential transfer targets make up five possible directions for new boss Uwe Rosler to take, ahead of the 2015/16 kick off in a month's time.

Kalvin Phillips

Teenage midfielder Kalvin Phillips broke into the Leeds side at the end of last season, and even got on the scoresheet. He recently signed a contract extension, and is likely to be considered as a first team player in 2015/16. A box to box midfielder, he could be a good fit to replace Murphy, but matching him up with Cook and Mowatt is a double edged sword. The academy trio have played together and know each other's games, but the side would be sorely lacking in experience and physicality in the middle of the park.

Tommaso Bianchi

Bianchi was a regular last season until he suffered a knee injury, and would provide experience to go alongside Cook and Mowatt. He is not the most exciting of options, but could be the safest choice available. The Italian will be keen to prove a point after a mixed debut season at Elland Road, having resisted opportunities to return to his homeland.

Casper Sloth

Danish international Casper Sloth struggled in his first season at Leeds, but this could be just the opportunity he has been crying out for. He is a player who will hope new boss Uwe Rosler, a fellow Scandinavian, will understand him and be able to get the best out of his talent in a way none of his previous Leeds head coaches have done previously.

Joey Barton

Joey Barton was linked with a surprise move to Leeds by The Express in May, and the midfielder remains a free agent after his release by QPR. Wages are likely to be an issue, as could his outspoken personality, but he has the experience and bite which would complement young duo Mowatt and Cook, and even be an upgrade on Luke Murphy.

Steve Sidwell

Stoke City midfielder Steve Sidwell was linked with a switch to Leeds by the Yorkshire Evening Post earlier this week. He saw limited action in the Premier League last season, but the club's move could be put on hold after Stoke sold Steven N'Zonzi to Sevilla. Sidwell, 32, has a wealth of experience, and would be a good signing at the right price if Leeds can get him.

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