After an impressive comeback season in the Premier League, Leeds United haven’t been able to follow up that with another strong one. Rather than vying for European places, the team is fighting hard to avoid relegation. The main reason for this difficult season has been too many injuries to key players. The team is short-staffed when it comes to the squad and not having major signings in the summer has put a halt to their progress.
The January transfer window is open and it’s an opportunity for the Whites to find players who can help them get past this difficult season. Marcelo Bielsa is not a big fan of the January transfer window because he feels it is difficult to get the right players at the right price, who can make an instant impact. Players take time to adapt to the demands of playing under Bielsa hence the winter window isn’t ideal. But considering the injury situation at the club, the team needs to think of bringing bodies in.
Here are three positions that could do with some strengthening in this window.
For some time now, Leeds are looking to find a second striker. The signing of Rodrigo seemed perfect but the Spanish striker has been injured far too often. With Patrick Bamford also injured with a hamstring injury, the team is short on players in this position. Leeds have already signed an 18-year-old striker in Mateo Joseph from Espanyol but the kid would need time to adapt to life in England with the Under-23s first. They may need to consider bringing a first-team player as well who can fit in seamlessly with the way Bielsa wants his centre-forward to press.
A creative midfielder is top of their list and they have not rectified this gap in their squad after Michael Cuisance’s move to Elland Road collapsed at the eleventh hour in October 2020. Mateusz Klich has struggled so far this season and the team is missing the creative edge in the XI. The need to share the burden of goalscoring in the squad, and this player they are looking for should be able to contribute with vital goals as well.
It is a known fact that when Kalvin Philipps is missing from the XI, Leeds are half the side without him. This has been an issue for some time now and hasn’t been rectified. With Phillips missing a major chunk of the season, we can see how big a hole it is not having a defensive midfielder. Bielsa has tried playing different players in the position but none are as complete as Phillps. He has already missed eight games this season and his return date is unknown as of now as he is nursing a hamstring injury.
Bielsa needs a defensive midfielder who can break play up effortlessly and is calm on the ball as well. The midfielder needs to have the ability to pick out long passes for runners, running behind the opposition back four. Indeed a difficult position to fill in the January transfer window.
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