Leeds United attendees and absentees on pre-season day one give away transfer hints

Daniel Farke oversees training at Thorp Arch in his first full day as Leeds United manager on July 5, 2023
-Credit: (Image: Leeds United)

At least seven players are expected to be missing from the start of Leeds United’s pre-season programme this week. Daniel Farke has not been heard from since May 26, so injuries and extra time off will not be known about publicly as the squad returns to Thorp Arch.

Based on who had extended seasons with their countries and who may be leaving the club in the near future, we can form an idea of who Farke will start working with first.

Who should be back on day one?

Illan Meslier has been linked with Marseille in recent days, but none of that has appeared substantial enough for Farke to remove him from the squad. The goalkeeper has been off since the play-off final and should be with Ed Wootten and Karl Darlow from the get-go.

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Georginio Rutter is arguably the best Leeds attacker yet to be linked with an exit this summer. The club’s record signing may be capable of playing higher than the Championship, but he carried the torch last season and should be at work with Farke on day one.

Like Meslier, Crysencio Summerville has been linked with a move away this summer, but there has not been anything to suggest progress on an exit. Therefore, he should be looking to put his best foot forward and get going on day one.

Joel Piroe, Pascal Struijk, Sam Byram, Patrick Bamford, Mateo Joseph, Joe Gelhardt, Kristoffer Klaesson and Sam Greenwood have not been linked with any kind of departure this summer. Assuming they are fit, they should be all in from the start with the coaching staff at Thorp Arch.

There have been very tenuous links away from Elland Road for Glen Kamara, Ilia Gruev and Wilfried Gnonto, but nothing substantial enough to turn heads. None of them played in the June internationals and should, realistically, be reporting for duty from the start for Farke. If Gnonto chooses the nuclear option again, it won’t be pretty for him.

Who should be back on day one, but might not be?

As painful as it is to admit, Archie Gray may well be one of those players missing on day one. The 18-year-old has been off since the play-off final and would have ordinarily been in from the start, but the weekend’s transfer developments do cast a shadow over his initial participation.

Charlie Cresswell would have been in from the start, but his transfer to Toulouse is understood to be imminent and won’t bother starting at Thorp Arch. Darko Gyabi is among the loanees returning this summer, but links with a Plymouth Argyle return could mean he skips West Yorkshire to return to Devon for pre-season.

Diego Llorente is the first of the bigger names currently scheduled to return for pre-season, but the noise around him from Roma and Real Betis should mean it’s unlikely Farke forces him to return after so long away.

Who is likely to be missing?

Ethan Ampadu, Daniel James and Charlie Crew all played for Wales at the start of last month. It would be wise for Farke to give them the extra time off they lost to the non-internationals, especially when you consider how long the forthcoming season will be for them.

Their absence isn’t guaranteed though. Junior Firpo is in the same boat. He played for Dominican Republic last month and will be owed some extra time off before restarting.

There has been nothing official from the club on the contract offers made to Jamie Shackleton or Cody Drameh. Technically, they are free agents this morning and under no obligation to report for pre-season, unless they have agreed new deals and the club is yet to announce them, but it seems unlikely.

Who will definitely be missing?

Denmark are out of Euro 2024, meaning Rasmus Kristensen has been released from his country. While the defender did not play a minute for his nation at the tournament, he is yet to have his post-season break and with an uncertain future anyway, it’s an easy excuse to keep him away from Thorp Arch until a resolution is found.

Brenden Aaronson and Max Wober are currently with USA and Austria at Copa America and Euro 2024 respectively. They will not be reporting to Thorp Arch this week.

Like Drameh and Shackleton, unless there has been a shake of hands behind closed doors, Liam Cooper is a free agent this morning. Unlike them, though, even if he has agreed a new deal, his Scotland duty means he will get some extra time off before starting pre-season.