by Thomas Hill

Confusing, cunning, cautious and crazy!

Four words that for me pretty much sum up Leeds United’s summer spending so far.

The never-ending speculation on a possible takeover has driven some fans to despair and got others brimming with optimism.

Amongst the hysteria Neil Warnock has been doing his best to wheel and deal his way around the transfer market, in an attempt to give Leeds a fighting chance of competing for promotion next season. A promotion that will take Neil Warnock to eight promotions in his career as a manager, a feat which will make him stand alone.

Disappointment and baffling decisions are common every transfer window where Leeds are concerned. Leeds’ trademark ‘sell our best player for peanuts and never replace them’ passed its sell by date last year when the good luck ran out and Leeds were found wanted.

This year is slightly different.

The Whites have managed to acquire more than one player for money. Well duh some of you say?

But no, getting Ken Bates to dip into his pocket is like getting blood out of a stone.

Adam Drury and Paddy Kenny have both moved north along with Jason Pearce. Drury and Kenny have the irreplaceable experience of achieving promotion from the Championship. In Kenny, United have signed a first class keeper at this level and one with experience of promotion. Pearce comes with high praise from every Pompey fan and has that ‘old school’ centre-back feel to him.

Paul Green and Drury come with fewer credentials so to speak but both appear that they have the ability to improve the team from last year. In his four signings Warnock has been smart, spent little but enough and added class to a leaking United defence.

The confusion factor kicks in when I analyse the outgoing players. Adam Clayton has gone to Huddersfield, a player with huge potential but at times can go missing, a problem when you’re aiming for promotion. Ross McCormack also appears to be on his way out after not agreeing a deal with the club. A few comments in interviews suggest Warnock wants McCormack to play a role off the bench next season, something which no 19 goal a season striker is willing to do.

At the end of last season I was 99% confident that both Clayton and McCormack would be in the starting eleven next season. The insane decision to let Ross go is something I’m still struggling to come to terms with but as a Leeds fan I’ve had my fair share of favourite players leaving the club.

Putting faith in Warnock is a risky but ‘no choice’ situation. He’s been there and done that and the fans will need to back him to the hilt. Despite the slow start Warnock has managed to restructure the defence and add depth to the midfield. The fans have turned into wild animals at the thought of a takeover, losing sleep and refusing to work as they click the refresh button.

The added speculation of some investment or a takeover has got Leeds fans excited again. Warnock has done well but with some added cash to the kitty, he could do a lot better. A turbulent summer since May looks set to continue as the fans await more news from a potential investor or new owner.

Until then, United fans are going to have to be patient, a word which Leeds fans forget far too often. After a horrific season last year, there’s hope at the end of the tunnel. Improved signings and some improved spending.

Let’s hope it continues.