The 7 Leeds United players who are leaving on a free next summer

This group of players are set to leave Elland Road in the summer of 2024

Leeds United have a squad that should be challenging for promotion from the Championship.

Having been relegated from the Premier League last season, Leeds came back down to the second tier of English football with a group of players that, on paper, sat right near the top of the Championship.

They managed to keep some of their better players from the 2022/23 campaign, like Wilfried Gnonto and Dan James, as well as bringing in players like Ethan Ampadu and Joel Piroe.

They’re positioned well in their pursuit of top tier football, but, if they don’t achieve promotion, they’re going to be losing some key players for free at the end of the 2023/24 campaign. That will make life a lot harder for them next time round.

These are the 7 Leeds United players who are leaving on a free next summer.

1Liam Cooper

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At the expiration of his contract, the club captain will only be a few months off from reaching a decade spent at Elland Road.

Fortunately for him, he’s been able to have a decent impact on the club’s good form of late. A nasty looking injury on the first day of the season, against Cardiff City, forced him to come off on a stretcher.

The initial chance of a quick return to action didn’t look good for the Scotsman. He was out for eight weeks with a foot injury, before returning to face Hull City.

Losing him for free would be a huge blow to the club.

2Luke Ayling

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From the club captain, to the man that wears the armband when Cooper isn’t around. Having your captain potentially leave would be bad enough, but to lose both of the top senior leaders of the changing room would be a proper gut punch for Leeds.

Ayling has also been with the club for a long time, having joined from Bristol City in the summer of 2016.

He made 93 appearances for the Whites over their three-year spell in the Premier League; he played every league game in the club’s first season back in the top division.

He’s been a really consistent player, finding someone to replace him would be tough, especially if he moves on and the club can’t get anything for him.

3Stuart Dallas

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The Northern Ireland international is Leeds’ Swiss Army knife. There aren’t many footballers who can play as many positions on the pitch as well as he can.

It was over 18 months on the sidelines for Dallas after he fractured his femur against Manchester City in April 2022.

Even though he’s not played for the club in so long, everyone knows how important he can be to the team when healthy.

4Sam Byram

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The former West Ham United full back only joined Leeds on a one-year deal this summer and the club might be regretting that with how well he has played for them.

So far this season, he has an average Sofascore match rating of 7.3/10. That puts him among the 20 best players in the league so far this season, according to the Sofascore.

It’d be a surprise if Leeds weren’t working on a new deal for him.

5Jamie Shackleton

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Shackleton looked set for the Leeds exit earlier this summer but has worked his way into Daniel Farke’s plans impressively as a versatile full-back option.

The Leeds academy graduate had an underwhelming loan with Millwall last season.

6Ian Poveda

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The majority of the winger’s time at the club has been spent on loan, but his games for Leeds have primarily been spent on the bench.

With the likes of Gnonto, James, Jaidon Anthony and Crysencio Summerville ahead of him in the pecking order, Poveda might already be thinking about the next step in his career.

7Lewis Bate

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Bate spent last season on loan at Oxford United in League One. That may be where his future lies, as he played a majority of their league games last season, and he’s only been used in the under-21s side since his return to Yorkshire.

The 20-year-old is the youngest of the senior team players to have their contracts expire at the end of the season, but he’s not shown himself to be a true prospect like Archie Gray has.

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