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Leeds announce retained list for next season
Wednesday, 17th May 2017 14:03 by Tim Whelan

The club have started the overhaul of the playing squad to prepare for a fresh promotion challenge, and have announced which players will be leaving, hopefully to make way for new talent.

We have offered a new contract to Charlie Taylor, which has led to quite a lot of angry comments on Twitter, in the wake of his refusal to play in the last game of the season, on top of his earlier transfer request. But in fact this is just a tactical move by the club, to ensure that we are eligible to get a fee for the player through a tribunal, as he could have joined another club for nothing if he didn’t have a new contract offer.

West Brom have offered £3.5m for Taylor, and Leeds will now have to decide whether to accept this fee or take it to a tribunal, although Tony Pulis has suggested they might pull out of the deal if they can’t negotiate a fee directly with Leeds, as a tribunal decision might commit WBA to paying a higher fee they couldn’t get out of.

Pablo Hernandez’s loan spell has been automatically renewed for another season due to the number of games he’s already played, and we are trying to arrange a permanent transfer for Kyle Bartley. Swansea’s new boss Paul Clement did suggest he might want to take the defender back to his parent club, but might think again now they’ve retained their Premiership status.

Of the other loan players, Barrow, Grimes, Pedraza and Sacko will be returning to their parent clubs. It has been reported that we want to re-sign Sacko, but although he has troubled a few sides with his pace there is usually no end product, so he’s very frustrating to watch. I’m not sorry to see the back of Grimes, who looked awful in the opening day 3-0 defeat at QPR, and was hardly seen since.

Pedraza has looked good in patches, but it was reported that the loan deal with Villarreal stipulated that we would have to pay £8.5m to convert it into a permanent transfer, which is way in excess of what we could afford, having failed to achieve promotion. Barrow hardly featured, and I thought it was odd that our only signings in the January transfer widow were Pedraza and Barrow, when we already had two wingers in the squad.

As far as the youngsters are concerned, new one year deals have been offered to Eoghan Stokes and Tom Pearce, and the club have extended the contracts of Conor Shaughnessy and Romario Vieira (the twin brother of Ronaldo). 5 other juniors have been released, as well as Jordan Botaka, who went on loan to Charlton last season, but failed to break through to regular first team football even after dropping down a division.

Let’s hope that after reducing the wage bill by trimming the squad of all these fringe players, there will be some incoming talent to build a squad capable of challenging for promotion.

Photo: Action Images

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