Leeds United's transfer window priority has been laid out by Daniel Farke as he avoids blame game

-Credit: (Image: John Walton/PA Wire)
-Credit: (Image: John Walton/PA Wire)

Experience will be one of the key improvements Daniel Farke looks to make to his Leeds United side going into next season. Having accumulated 90 points, but still come up short of the final target, the German knows he needs to find marginal gains to get the Whites over the line in 2025.

The average age of Farke’s 11 most-used players last season was 24, including Archie Gray at 18, Georginio Rutter at 22, Crysencio Summerville at 22 and Ethan Ampadu at 23. The manager found it hard to blame this season’s shortcomings on their inexperience, given what they had achieved.

“It's difficult to criticise our inexperience when you finish with 90 points and you could see the outcome today (Sunday) could have been different,” he said. “Also, the steps forward players like Cree Summerville, Georgi Rutter, Archie Gray have made, [means] it’s difficult to then punish them for being not experienced.

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“I know when it comes down to such a final and also to grind out, pragmatically, results, experience always helps. I mentioned [Adam] Armstrong was in a situation like this before and then he's not nervous if he is finishing the situation and not over-motivated, over-excited, just focused and clinical.

“This is the reason why a team like Real Madrid is, more or less, in each and every Champions League final. If it would be easy just with 18, 19, 20-year-olds to win the league, to win the finals, every club would do this.”

Farke acknowledges more experience on the pitch in a final like Sunday’s would have helped, including number nine Patrick Bamford, but it wasn’t meant to be. Bringing more experience to the table from August will be one of the German’s aims.

“This is a bit like our DNA,” he said. “We have a pretty young side. We knew before, in comparison to our competitors in the top end of the Championship, we have probably the most youthful side, the most inexperienced side and we knew this.

“It doesn't take anything away. We still wanted to reach the Promised Land. If you go pretty deep in the analysis, a bit more experience would have helped, yes.

“It would have definitely helped to have Patrick Bamford available for such a game like this, but it was not meant to be and, for that, I'm far away from giving the inexperience of Cree, of Georgi, of Archie the blame. It's more like, yes, we feel disappointed.

“We also will take the positives out of the season, but also try to work a bit on the things we can improve. One thing is definitely a bit more experience. The players who were involved will be more experienced next season and to take this because experience always helps.”