Exploring Leeds United’s perfect July: Land Vydra, bring in a new goalkeeper
Leeds United seem to have finally resolved their managerial situation by appointing Marcelo Bielsa as the new man-in-charge, following Paul Heckingbottom’s sacking only a few months into his tenure.
The Argentine manager, known for his methodical approach and tactical acumen, will have a huge task at his hands as he attempts to take Leeds back to the playoff contentions. As usual, the transfer window will play a huge role in how the season unfolds for the Whites.
Leeds have done a good job of getting rid of the dead wood from the squad – be it on loan or on a permanent transfer. The likes of Felix Wiedwald, Andy Lonergan, Pawel Cibicki are among the few names that have departed thus far.
Having already clinched a deal for midfielder Lewis Baker on loan, the Yorkshire-based outfit need to add more new faces if they are to finish higher up the table. And here are a few things they should do this month to set themselves up for a strong campaign ahead.
A goalkeeper is a must
Bringing in a new goalkeeper is perhaps Leeds’ and Bielsa’s most pressing concern ahead of the next campaign. Bailey Peacock-Farrell is the only senior goalkeeper training with the squad, following the permanent departures of Wiedwald and Lonergan.
While the youngster showed what he was capable of towards the end of the last season, he is still a bit raw to be the uncontested first-choice at Elland Road.
Manchester City starlet Angus Gunn was reported to be a top transfer target for the Whites, but the Englishman is on the verge of sealing a permanent transfer to Southampton.
The latest name being thrown around is that of Chelsea youngster, Jamal Blackman. The 24-year old has experience in the second division, having spent the last season on loan with Sheffield United. A loan move for him seems to be the most feasible solution for the Whites’ goalkeeping conundrum at the moment.
Sign Matej Vydra
Besides the area between the sticks, the biggest area that needs strengthening for Leeds is the centre-forward position. Since Chris Wood left the club last year, the Whites have failed to adequately replace him.
The likes of Pierre-Michel Lasogga (loan), Caleb Ekuban, Jay-Ray Grot were unable to fill the void left behind by the New Zealand international and Bielsa must address this concern at the earliest.
A lot of strikers have been linked with a move to the club, starting from Swansea City’s Oli McBurnie to Serie B outfit Capri’s Jerry Mbakogu. However, both deals are understood to be dead in the water.
Derby County forward Matej Vydra is one of the strikers Leeds have been looking at, but little progress has been made on that front. However, given the fact that the 26-year old scored 22 goals in all competitions last season, including 21 in the league Leeds must continue their pursuit of the striker. He has what it takes to fire them to the playoff positions and possibly, even promotion.