It has been a chaotic couple of years for supporters of Leeds United. After years of chaos behind the scenes under the ownership of Massimo Cellino, the club were finally taken over in May by Andrea Radrizzani.
However, Radrizzani’s ownership did not get off to the best of starts. Garry Monk, who had been a huge success at Leeds United in his short spell as manager of the club, announced his resignation just days after the takeover.
Monk had led Leeds United to their highest league finish in six years as they finished just outside the play-off places in 7th last season and the news of his resignation stunned everyone connected with the club.
It came as even more of a shock that Monk decided to take on the role at Middlesbrough as the next step in his managerial career.
Many Leeds supporters felt disgruntled by this decision feeling that the 38-year-old had taken a sideways step.
However, due to the fact Boro have only recently been relegated from the top flight, they arguably have a better squad and bigger budget than Leeds and have an excellent chance of making an immediate return to the Premier League in the upcoming campaign.
Despite Monk’s shock resignation, it took Leeds United only a matter of weeks to find his replacement.
Thomas Christiansen was given the task of returning Leeds to the Premier League by the club’s new owners. His appointment did come as a surprise to many, mainly due to the fact that he was not linked with the job whatsoever before the announcement was made.
The 44-year-old does arrive at Elland Road with insufficient managerial experience having only previously managed in the Cypriot league. He was the manager of AEK Larnaca for two years between 2014 and 2016 before he took charge of APOEL Nicosia last season.
He was a success at both clubs and won his first managerial title earlier this year as he won the Cypriot league title with APOEL.
The Danish coach has been busy in recent weeks building his Leeds squad ahead of the upcoming campaign. Vurnon Anita recently became Leeds’s sixth signing of the summer as he joined from Newcastle United. He joins the likes of Mateusz Klich, Felix Wiedwald, Madger Gomes, Hadi Sacko and Pontus Jansson who have also made a move to Elland Road this summer.
Due to how successful Leeds United were last season, agonisingly just missing out on the play-off places, it could be argued that not many changes needed to be made to the squad.
Both Sacko and Jansson signed permanent deals following successful loan spells at the club last season from Sporting CP and Torino respectively.
However, the other four signings will all add something different to Leeds’s squad for next season. The signing of Anita has been seen by many as a real coup as he brings some vital experience having played a huge role in Newcastle’s title-winning campaign last
However, keeping hold of some of his star assets will be just as important as bringing new players in for Christiansen this summer.
After years of speculation about a move away from Elland Road, Academy graduate Charlie Taylor departed the club for the Premier League this week as he signed a four-year deal with Burnley. It is important that Christiansen manages to keep the rest of his Leeds squad together if they are to challenge again next season.
The one player that Leeds supporters will be most concerned about departing the club this summer is last season’s top scorer Chris Wood.
He scored a whopping 30 goals for Leeds last season, and this has seen him linked with Huddersfield Town, Crystal Palace, Swansea City, Stoke City, West Ham, West Bromwich Albion and Southampton. There is no doubt that Wood will be in Christiansen’s plans for next season and he will be pivotal to Leeds’s promotion chances.
It will certainly be interesting to see whether Christiansen can adapt to the English game. Every season, managers seem to get less and less time to implement their ideas, especially in The Championship.
It is a result driven business, and he will have to make a good start, especially due to the increased expectation at Elland Road following last season.
Although Leeds supporters will not appreciate the link to their Yorkshire rivals, if Christiansen follows the model David Wagner set up at Huddersfield, then he will not go far wrong next season.