It was a case of the same old story for Leeds United, as a campaign that promised so much at the start, ended up in mid-table obscurity.
Having started the 2017/18 EFL Championship season on an excellent note under Thomas Christiansen, the Whites looked destined for a playoff berth at the very least.
However, the deterioration of form in the second half of the campaign saw the manager get sacked, with former Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom getting the job in his stead. The results failed to improve and Leeds finished the campaign placed 13th.
How Leeds go about their recruitment in the summer window will definitely have a huge bearing on the outcome of the season. While there have been reports of a possible heavy spending summer owing to an injection of cash from owner Andrea Radrizzani, the loan market is something that the Whites could benefit from delving into.
Here are three players that they should look to bring in on a temporary basis for the next campaign.
Harry Wilson (Liverpool)
The 21-year-old Liverpool attacker was away on loan at Championship side Hull City since January and has been quite impressive over the past few months.
Wilson finished the campaign with 7 goals and 4 assists in 13 league appearances for the Tigers, helping Nigel Adkins’ side in their battle for survival from the drop. His record of 32 goals in 60 games for Liverpool U23 is outstanding as well.
A fast and skilful player with the ability to slot anywhere in the attacking third, the three-time capped Welsh international would add more bite and purpose to the Leeds line-up.
Sam Hughes (Leicester City)
Signed from Chester back in the summer of 2017, the 21-year-old centre-half was absolutely sensational for the Foxes’ U23 side in the Premier League 2.
Hughes, in the 2017/18 campaign, produced 8 goals and 4 assists from 24 appearances across all competitions, which is exceptional considering that he featured mostly as a centre-back or as a defensive midfielder.
Despite being 21 years old, Hughes has shown great maturity and personality that belies his age. On the field, he cuts a figure of a senior player and acts as a vocal presence who marshals things at the back.
While Leeds might have young defenders of their own in the form of Conor Shaughnessy and Paudie O’Connor, Hughes has had greater first-team exposure with Chester and has shown that he is ready to step up, making him a viable loan target for the Whites.
Bersant Celina (Manchester City)
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder had a very good 2017/18 campaign away on loan with Ipswich and could boost Leeds’ attack if they manage to sign him on loan this summer.
Celina, this season, appeared 38 times for the Tractor Boys in all competitions, scoring 8 goals in the process, coupled with a solitary assist. Capable of playing anywhere in the attack, the Manchester City youngster was mainly used on the left flank by his temporary club and he was a very effective outlet.
Technically gifted, Celina is also blessed with great speed and control and has the knack for coming up with spectacular strikes every now and then. Having gained experience in the Championship, he could prove to be a shrewd piece of business for Leeds.