United beat Barnsley 2-0 at Oakwell on Sunday to move back to the top of the Championship after seven games.
Leeds have won five of their seven league outings, losing one and drawing one. At the same stage last season, Marcelo Bielsa's side were two points worse off.
And Holloway feels that their high-flying form despite losing the English striker illustrates the idea that Leeds are indeed 'the real deal'.
He wrote in The Mirror: "I feel they are showing a little bit of the steel that they might not have had in the run-in at the end of last year. I think they will be stronger for that and they have a slightly better team - even though they have lost Kemar Roofe.
"They are growing into it. They are becoming a team that is used to handling the pressure. Last week at Barnsley was a fantastic result, however you cut it. And they managed to get it with a clean sheet. They are looking the real deal in my opinion."
The Elland Road club host Derby County this Saturday
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