Leeds boss Jesse Marsch is poised to unleash “an arsenal of attacking players” on the Premier League in his bid to avoid another relegation battle.
The Whites broke their club record transfer fee last week when signing striker Georginio Rutter from Hoffenheim in a deal which could rise to £36million.
The France Under-21 international will be in Leeds’ squad for Sunday’s home league game against Brentford, with Marsch to decide who to choose from an exciting array of forward talent.
Rutter will be vying with Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo for the central striker’s role, while Willy Gnonto, Luis Sinisterra, Jack Harrison, Brenden Aaronson and Crysencio Summerville give Marsch plenty of other options.
When asked if Rutter’s arrival had given him a selection headache, Marsch said: “Yeah, absolutely. I’m thankful to our ownership that we’ve invested heavily and tried to continue improving our team.
“I like to use the word weapons when I describe players. I like players who have weapons and now we have an arsenal of attacking players who have weapons.
“They are fast, clever, have talent, technical ability and intelligence, so if we can start to blend that all together and continue to be clear on our playing model, then we can use these weapons to help us.”
Joe Gelhardt, who a section of fans feel has not been given the game time he deserves, has been linked with a loan move back to former club Wigan.
“Joe Gelhardt is still in the building. He trained (on Friday),” Marsch said.
Another emerging young striker at Elland Road, Sonny Perkins, has been an unused substitute in Leeds’ last two matches after scoring a stoppage-time equaliser in the FA Cup tie at Cardiff.
Marsch said: “Every player wants to play every minute, but in order to sustain the way we want to play over 90 minutes and over an entire season, I think the ability to use an entire squad is really important.”
The American remains under intense pressure as Leeds sit two points above the relegation zone after winning only two of their last 15 league games.
He described a recent social media report claiming senior players wanted him out of the club as “bull****” after his side’s midweek FA Cup replay win against Cardiff.
When asked about it again on Friday and whether his players were also angry, Marsch said: “Yeah, they came to me. They want to make sure that I know, and that everyone knows, that we’re together.”
He added: “You can knock us for not getting the results that we want and not playing at the level of our expectations.
“But to question the character of what we’ve created here and what we’re about – that’s totally off base and I wanted to make sure that I cut that out immediately.”