Three things learned as Leeds lose to Manchester United in Oslo
Leeds United produced a solid display in Daniel Farke‘s first game in charge as manager against rivals Manchester United in Oslo, losing 2-0 – and here are three things we learned from our first pre-season friendly of the summer.
Three things learned as Leeds lose to Manchester United in Oslo:
Drameh, Gyabi now first choice
The Daniel Farke era is going to see a number of alterations in the starting line-up. With relegation comes a chance for young players. The two main ones starred on Wednesday, during the first 45 in Oslo against Erik ten Hag’s side.
Of all the young players coming back off loan, or promoted from 21’s, Cody Drameh and Darko Gyabi are the ones you would expect to play a key part next year. Maybe others like Joe Gelhardt, Charlie Cresswell, Sam Greenwood.
But Drameh was superb. No-one played more than him as he remained at half-time, with Farke making 10 changes. Gyabi was our best player in the first half. Those two have now got to be considered starting players next season.
Wober v Cooper battle emerges
So, with Leeds Live reporting that Wober has told Leeds he is planning to stay – having only just joined us in January – there is now a battle for the left side of centre-back. Liam Cooper, Max Wober, or Pascal Struijk, to fill the void.
Realistically, Struijk is not going to start. He is best suited of the three to playing at left-back and the chances of him getting in above Cooper and Wober is unlikely. But Cooper will know that Wober is likely to start ahead of him.
He needs to take advantage of the performances he has at his disposal, like in Oslo during the first half. He didn’t. Some of his passing was atrocious. Wober did not play given he only just returned on Monday. A battle is starting.
Do Leeds need a new left-back?
Judging by Wednesday’s showing, no. Junior Firpo is likely to be sold. Leo Hjelde started after the Norway U21 star returned from a loan at Rotherham this summer. He was excellent. The ex-Celtic star good with and without the ball.
He was withdrawn at half-time, and Drameh went across to the left – where he impressed again. So, Leeds have an option or two at left-back even without Firpo. Hjelde is good enough, while Drameh can also fill in there in that role.
So, instead of having to sign a replacement – it might be that £1m signing Hjelde could end up saving Leeds a whole load of cash this summer. It might be that Farke trusts him, and chooses not to sign a replacement on the left.