The January transfer window is notoriously hard to work in – with prices ballooning and cheaper players often far from fit for matches – which often means clubs don’t like to sign deals in the winter market unless they have to.
However, one of the reasons clubs are looking to sign players in January is that even just one high-quality addition can lift the spirits of both the squad and fan base.
In the case of Leeds United, Marcelo Bielsa said he would welcome additions if “better players” could be brought in and Victor Orta would make inquiries to see what players were available. However, we are now in the middle of the month and there are no signs of us coming in. Perhaps for the whites, this moral boost can come from within.
Video is not available
Leeds have had an almost unprecedented injury slate this season, with 11 players at times not ready to play.
In last Sunday’s FA Cup match against West Ham, Bielsa was unable to call up Patrick Bamford, Calvin Phillips, William Cooper, Rodrygo, Pascal Strugek, Jimmy Shackleton, Charlie Cresswell and Joe Gilhardt. Young striker Sam Greenwood has since been ruled out after sustaining an injury in the first half of that match.
Hopefully Patrick Bamford and Rodrygo will be available soon after this week’s reports and these two players can change the Whites’ attack.
Last season, Bamford scored 17 goals in the Premier League, and the attacking form was sorely lacking in the focal point because it was common to see crosses coming into the penalty area where the striker would be, only to have no one to attack the ball. With him back to the side, goals are likely to come more easily.
Meanwhile, Rodrygo’s fitness can be discussed in the Leeds squad, but he remains one of their most creative players. To put this into perspective, according to football stats website, fbref, the Spain international is the club’s leader for “expected passes” – a statistic used to measure the number of goals expected to be scored from a player’s passes – despite not playing in the latter. Seven games.
In addition to these two, Cresswell and Shackleton are expected to return in February, allowing Leeds to get more coverage in their defensive positions. This could allow Stewart Dallas and Robin Koch to play in midfield positions if needed.
Huge reinforcements will also be provided when hometown favorite and club captain returns as Calvin Phillips and William Cooper have more time to wait. Their earnings are said to be in March, which will provide more of a late-season boost than a mid-season boost that the January transfers can deliver.
The Whites will be hoping to get enough points in the next month and a half that relegation fears will largely subside, with these early returnees lifting the team to stronger and more consistent performances. However, if they needed another injection of energy to make them cross the line, the return of their two locker room leaders would definitely do the trick.