By Alex Stevens
Three unnamed players are on trial at Leeds as the club eye a triple transfer swoop, it emerged on Monday afternoon.
The Championship promotion hopefuls named three trialists in their Under-23s side that featured in a friendly against Sheffield United at lunchtime.
Leeds’ development side were 2-1 ahead at half-time in the clash at the club’s Thorp Arch training headquarters against the youth team selected by their Yorkshire rivals.
There was mystery as to the identity of the trialist trio as Leeds took the unusual measure of withholding their names, listing them each simply as ‘Trialist’ in the announcement of the starting XI on the club’s official academy Twitter account.
— LUFC Academy (@LUFCacademy) February 6, 2017
However, the numbers on the players’ shirts gave some indication as to the playing positions of the three aiming to impress Leeds chiefs.
They wore the number two, eight and 10 shirts, which would traditionally indicate they play in the right-back, central midfield and secondary striker positions.
Clubs hand trials to emerging players when they assess them over a defined period of time with a view to offering them contracts.
Leeds could hand the trio deals in the coming weeks even though the transfer window shut last week, as clubs are still able to sign players who are free agents and not contracted to another club.
Jason Blunt’s Under-23s side also named two first-team regulars, with Marcus Antonsson and Kalvin Phillips both selected after not being used by first-team boss Garry Monk in Sunday’s Championship defeat to Huddersfield.
Antonsson was an unused substitute at the John Smiths Stadium, while Phillips was omitted from the matchday 18 despite being part of the travelling party.
In other Leeds transfer news, there has been a finale in a major deal after a £7million Leeds bid was tabled.