Confirmed: Leeds stars under threat of summer axe as Heckingbottom eyes change
Leeds United manager Paul Heckingbottom has confirmed that the club’s stars are playing for their futures at Elland Road as he looks to change their fortunes after this season’s disappointments.
The Whites began the campaign with ambitions of securing a play off spot, and their initial form suggested they would be up at the top of the table competing as they went on an impressive run to top the pile in England’s second tier.
However, they have slipped down the rankings as the season has gone on with some abysmal form, and currently find themselves sitting 13th having managed to pick up just one win since Boxing Day last year.
With Heckingbottom having taken over from Thomas Christiansen, he insists that he is looking towards next season after pouring cold water on a late burst up the table, and that his players are now playing for their futures with the possibility of the axe being swung over the summer.
When asked by the Yorkshire Evening Post whether his players were having to impress for the current campaign or next season, he said: “Both. We need to get an improvement, we want to build a squad that is going to challenge.
“I think there’s bigger issues to address going forward that need to start being tackled.
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“You’re playing for something totally different and which should be more important which is a chance to be in this group and this squad next season.
Leeds will hope to pick up their second victory of 2018 on Saturday, when they take on Reading.
Football Insider verdict
Leeds have shown that they are lacking in the quality to compete at the top of the table and Heckingbottom is right to be threatening everyone in his side with the axe. No one in that Leeds team are indispensable, even the likes of Samu Saiz, and everyone will have their price. However, that does mean that the big name players could depart Elland Road if someone comes in with an acceptable bid, further weakening the side. The manager has to convince that Leeds are going to be pushing for the top six next season, or there could well be an exodus of both dead wood and top quality players.
In other Leeds United news, it can be revealed that the club have launched a bid to sign a Premier League centre-forward in the form of his life.