Former Leeds United player Gary McAllister has boldly claimed that the Yorkshire giants have the potential to be on a par with the Premier League top six should they return to the top-flight.
Leeds dropped out of the Premier League in 2004 and have never really come close to returning after a spate of bottom half finishes in the Championship and even a three-year stint in League One.
The Whites looked good for promotion in the early stages of this season when Thomas Christiansen had them leading the Championship standings after a strong start.
However a dismal run of form has since seen United slip back into mid-table mediocrity, leading to Christiansen being sacked and replaced by Paul Heckingbottom from Barnsley.
Heckingbottom takes charge of his first game at Elland Road when Leeds play Bristol City on Sunday and McAllister has claimed that the Yorkshire club must have had tabs on the 40-year-old for quite some time before he was appointed as Christiansen’s successor earlier this month.
“I would never disrespect any teams in the Premier League but in terms of size of club it’s a real shame that Leeds aren’t in there,” said McAllister, as quoted by the Daily Star.
“The top six clubs are out on their own at the moment but I’d certainly say Leeds would fall into the next category in terms of size and potential. That’s where they should be.
“Last year it was 25 years since Leeds won the last First Division title and now the pressure is on to deliver the club back to that top flight.
“They’ve got a promising young coach and the speed in which he was appointed made me think that it was something that had been in the pipeline for a while.”
Leeds sit 11th in the table going into their clash against Bristol City this weekend.
Lee Johnson’s side are in a bad run of form of their own with just one win in their last 10 games across all competitions.
The Whites won 3-0 at Ashton Gate earlier this season with Samuel Saiz bagging a brace and Pierre-Michel Lasogga finding the net despite Gaetano Berardi being sent off.
In other Leeds United news, this Sky Sports pundit has claimed Andrea Radrizzani make a brutal below-the-belt remark after making a decision.