Why this strong Leeds United team shows glimpses of past squads

By Tom Wilson

After Leeds’ inspiring win against Norwich, manager Garry Monk thought Leeds showed great spirit to get a result that was fully deserved.

Leeds have won seven of their last ten games in the league, seeing the Yorkshire side rise from 22nd to 6th place in the Championship in just two months.

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They haven’t been this close to the play-offs since the 2010/11 team that missed the play-offs by three points. The two sides share some striking resemblances and the current squad will be looking to better the 7th finish of the 2010 team.

The 2010 team was led in front of goal by Luciano Becchio, scoring 20 goals in that season. Current Leeds forward Chris Wood has bagged 11 goals so far this season using a similar play-style to Becchio with a strong physical presence and a keen eye for goal.

In the 2010 season, Jonathan Howson was club vice-captain, a product of their successful youth system. The hard working, Morley-born central midfielder played more minutes (4628) than anyone during his 46 league appearances.

A man who will be hoping to follow in his fellow Leeds-man’s footsteps is Kalvin Phillips. After Lewis Cook’s departure and Liam Bridcutt’s injury problems, Phillips has taken the opportunity to become the “fan favourite” that the Yorkshire Evening POST dubbed him to become back in 2015.

Max Gradel and Hadi Sacko share pace, flair and passion too – the wide midfielders are responsible for creating chances. Gradel managed eight assists and 18 goals, while Sacko is on three assists and one goals. But it’s their impressive skills that show their resemblance.

In 2010, on-loan centre back Joey O’Brien signed a permanent deal with Leeds after his impressive performances. This season, Pontus Jansson has become a Leeds fan favourite overnight after his inspiring defensive performances have seen Leeds concede just 8 goals in the 11 games he has played.

Unlike O’Brien, Jansson has yet to sign permanently, however his contract means that after 20 appearances the option to buy becomes available for a fee around £3million. Jansson expressed his desire for a permanent contract in the Yorkshire Evening Post.

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