Shifting expectations after Leeds break spending habits TSS July 3, 2015 Leeds United 8 Comments Whether Chris Wood can provide Leeds United with a high enough strike-rate to justify a £3m fee remains to be seen, but when a club breaks with a 13-year spending habit and pays that kind of figure for a player, it demands people revisit their expectations for the coming season. Even with the most rose-tinted pair of spectacles, making an argument for Leeds storming this league is a tough ask considering some of the teams we’ll be up against and the massive disadvantage parachute payments now put the rest of us at, but Leeds aren’t without genuine quality. The homegrown quartet of Sam Byram, Lewis Cook, Alex Mowatt and Charlie Taylor would be a boost to any Championship team, Marco Silvestri ranks among the best keepers in the division, Mirco Antenucci is a solid option up front, Sol Bamba looks to be the leadership figure we’ve lacked in defence and Luke Murphy was very impressive last season. All told, Chris Wood is joining a decent core of players. But it’s a core with a few glaringly obvious gaps, most notable of which is a left-wing problem we’ve been failing to address for several years now. At this stage, a pacey and naturally left-sided player should rank as priority number one for the club, especially now that we’ve signed a very tall striker in Chris Wood who I’d hate to see reduced to a target for hoofballs pinged from deep, totally bypassing and failing to properly utilise the quality we have in midfield. Alongside the left-winger, we need an experienced head in the centre of the park – someone who knows how to dictate the flow of a game, making it scrappy and restricting space when necessary and then setting off quick breakaways when the opportunity presents itself. Ideally, this player would be a DM, further reinforcing a defence already improved by the permanent signing of Sol Bamba. I’ve noticed our odds on success this season already shortening since the arrival of Chris Wood and while he alone isn’t enough to convince me we’ll be there or thereabouts, Leeds only lack a couple of strong signings in the right areas and this really could be a season worth getting excited about. Dare to dream? Almost.