By Will Butcher
Garry Monk has seen Leeds go from relegation candidates to promotion hopefuls in recent weeks, after securing their ninth Championship win of the season against Rotherham.
A spectacular streak of nine wins in 14 league and cup fixtures has catapulted the Yorkshire giants to fifth, as fans begin to believe that a Premier League return is possible.
On the pitch, Leeds 11 summer signings have began to gel under the former Swansea boss, after they held on to a 2-1 victory in Saturday’s Yorkshire derby.
But these three players have proved pivotal in the turnaround in success, as they continue to form the core of Leeds’ starting XI.
The on-loan defender has become somewhat of an unsung star as Sweden international Pontus Jansson continues to take all the plaudits.
Standing in for the injured Liam Bridcutt as captain, Bartley has shown consistency, maturity and experience at the back as he oversees Leeds’ Championship climb.
Missing just one of Leeds’ 22 fixtures this season, the defender needs to become a permanent signing from Premier League side Swansea as his commanding aura continues to inspire Leeds.
Brought in from Serie A outfit Torino, Jansson has been Leeds’ signing of the summer as his form has coincided with the former Premier League side’s rise to the play-offs.
The 6ft 5in colossus has been in supreme form. Showing a classiness on the ball that would not be out of place in Italy’s top tier, Jansson provides a defensive stability that has endeared him to the Leeds’ faithful.
The 25-year-old’s uncompromising attitude has been one of the main reasons for his side’s change in fortunes. Like Bartley, a permanent deal is key to the success of Monk’s team.
When the New Zealand international plays well, Leeds play well. After a difficult start to the season, Wood shook off his critics to become a pivotal part of Monk’s starting XI.
The former Leicester star has scored 12 goals in 21 games, with Leeds yet to lose this season when their number nine finds the back of the net.
A new contract should be considered for Leeds’ number nine, as his ability to be in the right place at the right time has fired Leeds from bottom to top.
In other Leeds news, here are three things we learned from the 2-1 victory at Rotherham.