For months it seemed more than likely that Leeds United would be contesting the playoffs and getting a chance to return to the Premier League.
However, they lacked the final push they needed to finish in the top six and missed out by five points in the end. So where do they go from here? With new owners in place, a young, enthusiastic manager and being the team with the top goal scorer in the division, the Yorkshire side has solid foundations, but they need to improve in some areas.
One of the areas Leeds United need to bolster is the middle of the park. They have failed to stamp their authority on games towards the end of the season, and they lack a real technical leader in midfield.
A player who can dictate the play and control the tempo is what Leeds need; especially in games where they have failed to supply the strikers with the vital balls they need.
The most vital piece of business that the Championship club needs to do is to hold onto their star striker Chris Wood.
The New Zealand striker has been a revelation for Leeds United this season having scored 30 goals in all competitions. He is a real physical threat against the burly defenders in the division and has made mincemeat of some of the best defences this season.
However, he needs a partner up front with him. Having scored 44% of their league goals, he is mightily important to how Leeds United play and they rely on him heavily. They will be lucky to keep hold of the Championship’s top goalscorer; especially with interest from the Premier League.
Manager Garry Monk will more than likely sign a new striker even if Wood does stay. A player with the same physicality as recently relegated Victor Anichebe could be the perfect man to partner with or replace Wood.
As well as keeping hold of Wood, Leeds will need to keep hold of Swedish centre back Pontus Jansson. The 6 foot 5 defender is only on loan from Torino but is expected to sign for them due to an agreed fee at the start of the loan.
However, the club face stiff competition from Premier League sides but more importantly face opposition from his parent club. Due to complications surrounding the arranged payment of £3.5 million, there has been a dispute regarding his stay at Leeds, but he now looks set to remain at Elland Road.
The player who is more than likely to leave Leeds this summer is left-back Charlie Taylor. The former England under 19s player refused to play for his club in the final game against Wigan, according to Monk.
This impulsive and ill-advised behaviour makes an exit all but certain. The manager will now be looking to bring in a new left-back to fill the void when the 23-year-old inevitably seeks new pastures.
This is where Monk needs players who are going to fight for the cause. Stumbling over the final few hurdles in the league is not the type of character he wants at the club, and he will not be convinced by a few players who have contributed to Leeds slipping out of the playoff places. Recruitment will be the key this summer, but it has to be the right recruitment.