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TheJanitor

[FM19] Leeds United - Back in the Prem

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Decided to start updating on a current save I'm playing with Leeds United. Seeing as the Leeds thread is a bit dead, I'm starting a new one here. To get everyone up to speed, here is a quick jaunt through my first 3 seasons with the club:

18/19 Season

League Table | Team of the Season

Finished our first season by winning the league with 95 points and of course achieving promotion. The second half of the season was quite difficult, as we recorded 5 of our 7 losses post January. Thankfully, other teams also failed to capitalize and Manchester City's loanee Jack Harrison dragged us to glory. We played a possesive 4231 that lacked a bit of bite going forward. Harrison was our leading scorer, with 13 goals while Klich was second with 8. Bamford, Roofe (who left us in January for Newcastle), Clarke scored 20 between them. The Roofe money was used to make Harrison's stay permanent and our solution upfront was signed after the season ended.

19/20 Season

League Table | Team of the Season

The most difficult season I think I ever endured. Start brilliantly, spending most of first half of the season in midtable. However, a run of 14 games without a win saw us getting closer to relegation. We managed to survive and finished 15th, 5 points from relegation. The only shining light was our new striker, Erling Haland, who netted 13 times in his debut season. That's like Bamford and Roofe combined. Tactically, we went for a more defensively minded 4141, but it didn't fit some of our key players and I think that was part of the reason for our poor season.

20/21 Season

League Table | Team of the Season

A much better season as we finished 7th, missing out on European competition by goal-difference (ignore to EL next to us in the table, for some reason we aren't in the EURO Cup despite Tottenham winning the competition and getting a CL spot. We started with a 4123, but poor form in January saw us change to a 4231 with amazing results, along with the signing of Lofuts-Cheek and Chukwueze. Haland finished as our top scorer again with 20, just two off Golden Boot winner Eden Hazard (who replaced Sadio Mane at Liverpool).

 

I'm currently nearing the end of August 2021, and I think I will update monthly from now on. First monthly update will come next, but before I will post a quick squad overview as a lot have changed since the start in the Championship.

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20/21 - Starting Squad

Goalkeepers

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Ellery Balcombe is probably my best signing at the club. Transfer-listed at Brentford, we plucked him for £3.5m in the 19/20 season and he initially rotated with Kiko Casilla. The later was sold in the next season and Balcombe took his place as our first goalkeeper. He did remarkably and developed well, so I'm definitely keeping my trust in him.

Alex McCarthy is a new arrival from PAOK. I looked for a capable backup with good personality, and McCarthy was solid, cheap and home-grown. WIll start in cup competitions and offer a trusty pair of hands in case Balcombe wouldn't be available.

Centeral Defenders

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Our starting combination this season will be John Souttar and Jorge Mere, while captain Pontus Jansson and Matt Clarke will offer reliable backup, as Luke Ayling is available in case of emergency.

Souttar joined last season and was an absolute rock at the back. He's an amazing BPD with great PPMs as well. Mere is a new signing from Koln, and he will take over Jansson position at the heart of our defence. The later will be a rotational figure and kept despite an offer from Roma for his personality and reliablity.

Finally, Matt Clarke joined from Portsmouth the previous season and didn't get a lot of game time. Still young, he will make a few appearances in cup competitions.

Right Backs

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This summer we made our record signing from Burnley, bringing Max Aarons from the relegated club for £34m. He is a complete attacking fullback and help provide us with more attacking edge next season.

Luke Ayling is a relic from our Championship days, and current vice-captain. Not very impressive offensively, and getting on a bit, but he will offer good backup for Aarons.

Jamie Shackleton was trained to play as a right back as I tried playing with an IWB. Didn't really catch on, but he still provide us with an emergency backup when needed

Left Backs

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Jamal Lewis was one of our first signings upon achieving promotion and developed into an absolute star. Every window I'm bombarded with offers for him and I always reject them. Incredible going forward and defending.

Iago Gomez is the first regen who got a chance in the first team. Joining from Real Madrid for £1.7m last January and establishing himself as Lewis backup. Haven't develop much yet, but the future is still bright for him.

Central Midfielders

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In my 4231, I tend to play with a DLP and a CM/d. Kalvin Phillips is locked at CM/d, but at DLP, homeboy Jamie Shackleton and PSG loanee Leandro Paredes offer two great options. Shackleton is a better player, and home-grown by club, but Paredes offers threat from set-pieces and always performs great. Tried to make his deal permanent, but his wage demands are outragous. Got him on loan for another season instead, paying only 30% of his wages.

Bogusz was in our U23 at game start and developed quite well. A useful option, but doesn't really fits our tactics. Will still get game times either in CM or higher up the pitch.

Attacking Midfielders

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 Jack Grealish joined us during our first season in the Prem from struggling Aston Villa. I hoped he would offer us the creative edge we lacked. He was positive, but not quite what I hoped. Last season, he improved massively, scoring 4 goals and assisting 9 times. He will be one of the first names on the team sheet.

Samuel Chukwueze and Ruben Loftus-Cheek joined in January and contributed with 9 goals and 2 assists combined. Chukwueze in particular scored some important goals. They will compete for spots with Jack Harrison and home-grown Jack Clarke. Harrison's influence since his debut season dropped, but he's still a reliable figure. Clarke developed a whole lot in his debut season, but haven't progressed much since. I'm still trying to find a way to get the best of him.

Center Forwards

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Erling Haland. What a player. Not much to say otherwise, he's a complete attacker with 33 goals in his first two seasons, before even turning 21.

Ryan Edmondson will get his chance as Haland back after impressing 36 goals in two loan spells at Colchester and Charlton, winning the League 1 Golden Boot last season RLC is emergency backup.

 

Some Regens

Iago Gomez

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Previously mentioned, our back up LB who joined from Real Madrid.

Jack Houghton

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Best player to have come up from our academy. Was loaned out to Crewe last season and scored 9 in 19. This season he will be in our reserves as I want to use him in cup competitions.

Manolo Garcia

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For some reason, I keep finding amazing Spanish regens. Manolo joined last season from Rayo Vallejano and developed nicely. Some problematic attributes like his Composure and Dribbling, but I want him to develop into a Roaming Playmaker.

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Pre-Season + August 2021

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Pre-season went well, mostly winning against mostly lesser opposition.

We kicked off our third Premier League campaign decently, winning against West Ham and Watford, as well as progressing to the 3rd round of the Carabao Cup after beating Ligue 1 side Lincoln with a line up filled with youngsters and backups. Average performance against Fulham saw us salvaging a point in the 70th minute, while against Stoke we dropped a 2-0 lead.

Player of the month: who else but Erling Haland. 6 goals in 4 games for the Norwegian striker saw him end August as the Premier League leading goalscorer, drawing with Tottenham's Justin Kluivert, who actually scored 4 as they beat Norwich 9-0, with Harry Winks scoring 4 as well. Speaking of Norwich, they took quite a beating this month, conceding 18 goals and scoring just 1, they are last with 0 points after 4 games.

This also happened this month:

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Bright future at Leeds!

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