Two Transfer Ins and Outs Leeds Could Complete In January
Leeds United’s promising start to the new season under Thomas Christiansen seems like a distant memory now. Having spent the opening few weeks at the top of the table, the Whites went through an extremely poor run of games, which saw them drop down to seventh place in the standings, 15 points behind league leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.
While the title race seems a far-fetched thought at the time, the chance of making it to the playoffs still remains a strong possibility, considering Leeds are just four points behind Sheffield United, who occupy the last playoff spot.
The January transfer window will be an important period for the club and the manager if they are to achieve their targets and the business that they do in the winter, could define where Leeds end up in the table come the end of the season. And with that in mind, here we take a look at two ins and outs that the Yorkshire-based outfit should look to get done in the coming month;
Joe Bryan (Bristol City)
It is no secret that the left-back position has been one of the major worries for the Whites this season. Having lost Charlie Taylor in the summer, the club went into the new campaign with Gaetano Berardi as the only senior left-back in the squad, with Vurnon Anita able to fill in if needed.
Leeds also signed Cameron Borthwick-Jackson on loan from Manchester United, but none of them have been able to convince.
So, bringing in Joe Bryan from Bristol City in January makes total sense for the club. The 24-year old was one of the best left-backs in the second division last season and has continued in a similar vein of form this time around as well.
Bryan has scored twice and assisted two more from 21 games in all competitions so far this term. Strong defensively and with good attacking instincts, the Englishman could be the perfect solution for Leeds’ woes down the left side.
Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City)
The 31-year old Argentine striker has found game time hard to come by at the King Power Stadium and his chances don’t look any better under the new management of Claude Puel.
Ulloa has made just two appearances for the Foxes this term, both of them in the EFL Cup, where has scored a goal as well. But he is yet to appear in a single Premier League game and has made the bench only three times.
Leeds should look to capitalize on this situation and move for the Argentine. The 31-year old might not have played a lot this season, but is well-versed with the rigours of the Championship, having scored 23 goals and chalked up seven assists in 50 games during his time with Brighton & Hove Albion between Jan 2013 and July 2014.
Leeds have struggled to replace the goals of Chris Wood this season and a target man in the attack, in the form of Ulloa, could prove to be a shrewd capture.
The youngster was brought in on loan from Premier League giants Manchester United, to provide depth in the left-back area, but things haven’t exactly gone as per plans for Leeds or the player. The 20-year old has made just five appearances all season, only one of which has been in the Championship, with no goals or assists to show for.
His performances in the limited opportunities haven’t been all that convincing either and it doesn’t look like he is in the plans of the manager – the last time Borthwick-Jackson made the matchday squad in the Championship was way back in August. So, it would be wise that the club decide to let go of the player, provided they bring in another left-back.
The 23-year old was pretty much an unknown quantity when Leeds signed him in the summer from Malmo and the move has failed to reap rewards for the club. Cibicki, so far this season, has made only two appearances for the Whites, both of which have come in the EFL Cup and has made the cut for the Championship matchday squad only four times, but has never made it out on the pitch.
There have been reports of Malmo being interested in taking back their former striker back in January and with the player not currently happy with the lack of playing time coming his way, it would be prudent for Leeds to consider letting him go, albeit on a loan deal.