Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani wants to challenge Premier League top six within five years

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani wants the club to challenge for a top-six finish in the Premier League within five years, but avoiding relegation is the first objective.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side won the Sky Bet Championship title last season and mark their return to the Premier League after a 16-year wait with a trip to champions Liverpool on Saturday – live on Sky Sports.

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While Leeds’ immediate aim is to preserve their top-flight status, Radrizzani’s long-term plans for the club are far more ambitious.

“I hope we can stay in the Premier League for two years,” Radrizzani said.

“After that first cycle of two years, I think we will be ready to step up and close the gap with the bigger teams.

“Obviously, my objective, if I look at a period of three, five years, is to be just behind the top six.”

The success of Leicester and Wolves in recent years suggests it is possible for newly-promoted clubs to adjust quickly to Premier League football.

Leicester stunned the world by winning the 2015/16 Premier League title in just their second season back in the division, while Wolves – 2017/18 Championship winners – have secured consecutive seventh-place finishes.

However, Radrizzani has ruled out the idea of Leeds following in their footsteps.

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He added: “It’s impossible. It would be wrong to do it because there is no foundation to do that.

“So obviously, there are teams that have done an unbelievable story like Leicester, but Leicester is an example also of stability and sustainability over time.

    “But I think we need to be realistic about what our possibilities are now, and our objective is to stay in the Premier League.”

      Leeds 2020/21: Will Bielsa inspire and thrive?

      Leeds are back in the Premier League after a 16-year absence and Marcelo Bielsa’s exciting side are not here just to make up the numbers.

      The club finally returned to the top flight after winning last season’s Championship, 12 months on from their heart-breaking defeat to Derby in the semi-finals of the play-offs had made it seem like the club would never make it back to the big time.

      In the wily Bielsa, Leeds have an experienced and tactically astute manager who will ensure his side consistently punch well above their weight next season, as seen when they ran Arsenal close in last season’s FA Cup third-round tie at the Emirates.


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