Why Leeds United could do without signing Jermaine Defoe this month
According to a report in Birmingham Live, Championship leaders Leeds United are lining up a stunning move for Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe. The veteran hasn’t played a lot for the Cherries and will be allowed to leave the club on loan during this month’s transfer window.
As per the report, the Peacocks are eager to get the player, who is currently at £100,000-a-week. This has escalated chiefly because of Newcastle United’s interest in Kemar Roofe, who are looking to add firepower to their line-up as they seek to stay in the Premier League.
However, Rangers are close to signing the 36-year-old Englishman on an 18-month deal. Here’s why Leeds United could do without signing Defoe this month, and rather concentrate on strengthening other areas:
Defoe’s lack of rhythm and age wouldn’t be feasible for Bielsa system
The system with which Bielsa plays requires players to have rhythm, intensity and stamina. The Argentine demands high pressing and quick passing in transitions to open up the opposition.
This is where someone like Jermain Defoe won’t fit in. With all due respect to the player, he is now 36 and hasn’t played much in the last 12 months for Bournemouth. Hence, the rhythm and match fitness isn’t there.
Furthermore, due to his age, the type of play demanded by Bielsa wouldn’t mirror what the striker can do on the pitch, especially because he probably doesn’t have the legs to beat players in a foot race, something with which he was associated in his yesteryears in the game.
The best deal for Leeds United would be to ward off any interest from Newcastle United in Kemar Roofe. It is because the 25-year-old is their first-choice and has already scored 13 goals in 20 league games. Moreover, he is the number nine who best understands the system with which his manager wants to play.
The Peacocks have Patrick Bamford coming from an injury to provide the backup and Tyler Roberts is there if the need arrives. Hence, the Championship leaders do not actually have to spend their wages on a third-choice striker this month.
Rather, they have dilemmas in other areas of the pitch. They lack depth in central defence and the attacking midfield department. The Peacocks should concentrate on buying new players to strengthen those positions.
Defoe is close to joining Rangers and Leeds should accept this and move on to strengthen their squad in other positions.