Premier League

Leeds United-Southampton Preview

Jesse Marsch has admitted Leeds United are close to the end of their transfer business this summer, if not already finished, as they prepare to face Southampton this weekend in the Premier League.

After narrowly escaping relegation last term, the Whites have used the funds raised by the sales of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha to manage a sizable rebuild at Elland Road, with a host of new faces led by USMNT duo Brendan Aaronson and Tyler Adams.

Rasmus Kristensen, Marc Roca, Darko Gyabi, Luis Sinisterra and Sonny Perkins were all signed last month too, with goalkeeper Joel Robles arriving this week – but despite persistent links with further purchases, Marsch feels they may be at the end of their business.

"We've done a really good job of acting early and giving these players the best chance to integrate as quickly and as smoothly as possible," he stated. "That now puts us in a position where we are starting our season and evaluating our performances, so we can look at exactly what we might need moving forward.

"I think we are being very aggressive in evaluating what is out there and really trying to find the right fit, more than just adding a position or a number or a player, and really trying to make sure that every decision we make is the right decision. A lot of it is looking for the profile without suffocating some of the young players getting chances in the next few years. At striker, that's not easy. I work strikers hard and it's demanding."

Opposite number Ralph Hasenhuttl, meanwhile, has spoken on new recruit Romeo Lavia's performance in their opening defeat to Tottenham, and says his side will not sugar-coat matters for the ex-Manchester City star as he is keen to improve.

"We know his qualities but we try and be positive with him, but also critical because we want to make him a top-class player," he added. "It is important for those players to not get immediate praise for their OK or good performances, but also be critical with the things he has to make better.

"What I like about these young lads is they seem to be very self-critical and want to learn, and want to have input all the time. This is a very good character I think to get better, because when you think you are a superstar it is hard to make them better."

Southampton – James Ward-Prowse

If the Qatar 2022 World Cup had been held at the end of last season, there is a fine chance the Saints midfielder would have found himself on the plane. If he can ensure he runs another superb spell of form through the first half of this term, he'll be a hard man to ignore for England.

Leeds – Brendan Aaronson

Though a debut finish was ultimately chalked down as an opposition own goal last week, the USMNT star looked the most dangerous operator in Marsch's side at Elland Road. If he can bring the same energy and verve to St Mary's Stadium, the Whites will likely fare well.

- Southampton have won four of their last five home league matches against Leeds (L1), with those wins coming across the Premier League, Championship and League One.

- Away from home at Southampton in the Premier League, Leeds United collected 1.9 points per game at their old ground, the Dell (P9 W5 D2 L2), but are only averaging 1.2 points per game at St Mary's (P5 W2 L3).

- Southampton have won their first home league match in just three of the last 31 seasons (D13 L15) and in none of their last 10 (D6 L4). The last team they beat in their first home league game was Leeds in 2011-12 under Nigel Adkins.

- Leeds won three of their last five away league games in 2021-22 (D1 L1), having won just two of their first 14 on the road last term (D4 L8).

- Southampton have lost their last five Premier League matches, and defeat against Leeds will equal their longest ever losing run in their league history from January/February 2021, when they lost six consecutively.

Updated August 12, 2022

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