After a disappointing 2017/18 campaign, there is expected to be a lot of change at Leeds United ahead of next season.
Personnel is going to change, with Leeds already working on some deals and looking to offload some of last season’s flops. There could also be a change in management at Elland Road, with Paul Heckingbottom’s job far from secure, according to reports last month.
For now, it seems like Heckingbottom will still be around, but whoever finds themselves in charge at Elland Road next season needs to consider a change in formation.
4-2-3-1 has been used at Elland Road for some time now, with Garry Monk, Thomas Christiansen and Heckingbottom all falling back on that particular system.
Last season in the Championship, Wolves blew the division away, with their 3-4-3 formation difficult to breakdown and also allowing their creative players to thrive.
Leeds could turn to a similar system next season, with Pontus Jansson and Luke Ayling more than capable of forming a back-three with another centre-back, like Kyle Bartley, who has been strongly linked with an Elland Road return.
Ahead of that trio, Leeds have the players to fill wing-back roles, with Tom Pearce and Lewie Coyle positive full-backs. Added to those two, Stuart Dallas and Ezgjan Alioski both have international experience in that position and wouldn’t look out of place in the 3-4-3.
Central midfield takes care of itself, as does the No.9 role, as long as Leeds target a new man to spearhead their attack over the summer.
A switch in formation could also benefit Pablo Hernandez and Samuel Saiz, Leeds’ Spanish duo who provided the bulk of creativity during the 2017/18 campaign.
Pushing that duo forward, either side of a central striker would allow them attacking freedom. Hernandez and Saiz would be free of huge defensive responsibility and allowed to express themselves going forward.
Of course, Leeds need to be focusing on recruiting the right personnel this summer, before attention turns to a suitable system to play. However, a look at the squad available right now, combined with Leeds’ reported targets, could open the door for the Whites to follow Wolves in adopting a 3-4-3 system.
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