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Two youngsters arrive, but two depart
Friday, 5th Jul 2019 08:21 by Tim Whelan

Today Leeds announced the signing of two former members of Barcelona’s academy, but at the same time Aapo Halme is leaving us for Barnsley and Mallik Wilks is likely to join Hull City in the next few days.

Former Barcelona B striker Rafa Mujica has joined us and signed a three year contract. The 20-year-old forward was a free agent following the end of his deal in Catalonia, after scoring seven goals in 33 games for Barca’s reserve side last season. That doesn’t sound desperately prolific, but some Barca fans have taken to twitter to express disappointment at his departure, which must be a good sign.

Mujica will initially play for the Under-23 side, but may well be in contention for a first team place before too long. Another young player coming from Barcelona is 18 year-old midfield player Guillermo Amor, who has joined us on a free transfer and signed a two year deal. But it’s disappointing to see two of the club’s current young players heading out of the club to make way, with the powers that be wanting to limit the size of the Leeds squad.

Phil Hay has reported that Hull and Barnsley are battling to sign Mallik Wilks, apparently undeterred by the possibility of Wilks facing another court appearance over an alleged incident in August 2017. He impressed last season while on loan at Doncaster, and I thought he could do a job in the Championship in the coming season, though it now seems he won’t be doing so for Leeds.

And many fans have questioned the wisdom of selling Aapo Halme to Barnsley for an undisclosed fee. The Finland Under-21 international is highly rated in his native land, and seemed to be a capable deputy in his five first team appearances in central defence, while looking handy when going up for set pieces at the other end of the field. But the start of his Leeds career was hampered by injuries, and Bielsa didn’t rate him highly enough to field him in vital games at the end of the season, preferring to play Phillips or Berardi out of position when Cooper or Jansson were unavailable.

We now have Ben White as an extra central defender, but the decision to dispense with Halme seems even more unwise after rumours of a bust-up between Bielsa and Jansson have begun to circulate. Jansson won’t be re-joining the squad in time for the pre-season tour of Australia, and the official reason is that he’s been given extra time off after playing for Sweden during the summer. But there have been suggestions that Fulham have been keen to sign him, and despite their relegation the Cottagers may still be an attractive destination for Jansson, as their parachute payments fund a promotion challenge under the management of Scott Parker.

It will certainly galling to see as many as three of our former players playing for rival clubs in the Championship next season, so we’ll just have to hope that in the long term the players we are signing turn out to be better than those who are departing.

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durdlesplot added 07:25 - Aug 27
United proceeded to negotiate the game’s remainder, which they did with little trouble. There was a scare at the end of four minutes added on when a corner fell only as far as Said Benrahma, but the Frenchman blasted it over and Bielsa and his charges held on for a victory they probably just about merited.


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