Why Leeds United must plot a January swoop for Dan Happe
Back in July, Daily Mail had claimed that Leeds United were one of the English clubs interested in signing Leyton Orient’s highly-rated defender Dan Happe. However, a deal didn’t materialise in the summer and he stayed at the club.
Dan Happe, 21, who came through Leyton Orient’s academy, signed a one-year extension to his contract with the League Two club in the summer that will keep him at the Breyer Group Stadium until the summer of 2021. He is regarded as one of the hottest prospects outside the Premier League and was a key player for Orient’s successful promotion-winning side last season.
With Happe impressing in League Two, Leeds must reignite their interest in the defender during the January transfer window.
Leeds are currently in contention for automatic promotion and will fancy their chances of making a long-awaited return to the Premier League this term. One key reason for the Whites’ failure to win promotion last season was Marcelo Bielsa’s eagerness to keep his squad short and tight in all areas.
This season has seen little change from the Leeds boss in that department, with the Yorkshire-based outfit having a dangerously light squad. Injuries haven’t helped this case and Bielsa should look at the January transfer window as the best opportunity to strengthen his squad for the promotion push in the second half of the campaign.
On-loan Leeds United centre-back Ben White has been very impressive this season, helping the Whites to boast the best defence in the league and one of the best in the country.
White is a top prospect, but because Liam Cooper’s injury record doesn’t inspire confidence and they’re virtually the only two natural central defenders in the Leeds squad, Bielsa should add to that area in January.
In that regard, Dan Happe would be a great fit at Elland Road. Coming through the ranks at Orient, Happe appears to have all the attributes to cut the mustard in England’s second-tier.
Standing at 6ft 5in, the young Englishman looks physically strong and can go toe-to-toe with physically dominant forwards.
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Thus, on the proof of how the 21-year-old has performed in the lower leagues of English football, he deserves a chance to showcase his talent in the Championship.
Having already struck gold by signing Ben White on loan from Brighton, Leeds should bolster their promotion hopes by getting another promising young defender, Happe.