Why Leeds United require greater squad strengthening to challenge on all fronts
Leeds United have made a fantastic start to this Championship season, winning four of the five league games, drawing the other. They look a formidable side under the legendary Marcelo Bielsa, who is destined to make this team an attractive prospect for the future.
Under his guidance, the intensity of football is quite high, with frenetic pressing off the ball and fast-paced passing build-up on it. Such a system will naturally tire most of the players out as the season progresses. We saw a glimpse of that when the Peacocks seemed rather exhausted for most parts of the game against Swansea. In fact, it was on a Tuesday night, hardly two days after their weekend game. So, the level of intensity took a significant hit.
For that reason, they need to have ample squad depth on the bench to help the manager rotate the squad and prevent a dip in performances. Bielsa has problems in the defensive department right now since Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper are injured. Hence, he was forced to deploy full-back Luke Ayling in the centre-back position.
Even Gaetano Berardi is a full-back by trade but he has been playing as a centre-back beside either Cooper or Ayling. Given the severity of the situation, the Peacocks need to dip into the loan market and procure a few players to boost their depth.
For instance, they have Patrick Bamford to play as a striker if Kemar Roofe is injured or requires rest. However, Leeds don’t have that options when it comes to the midfield department. And players playing in that position need more rotation as they basically cover the whole length of the field through a particular game.
A championship season is quite long, consisting of 46 league games. So, to sustain the early momentum, it is vital for a manager to continually keep the fatigue levels in check before making lineup decisions. Since the games come thick and fast, one bad result could affect the momentum to a great extent.
Thus, in an overall sense, Leeds must have a squad deep enough to endure a season and play at least 46 to 50 high-intensity games under Bielsa.