Why Signing This Experienced Defender Could Really Help Leeds United In The Second Half Of The Season

Why Tommy Elphick Could Be A Good Signing For Leeds

Aston Villa are looking more and more likely to lose Tommy Elphick when the January transfer window opens, which would leave them with only three options in that position – John Terry, Chris Samba and James Chester. Despite this, manager Steve Bruce is likely to grant Elphick’s wish to leave and perhaps replace him with Swedish defender Filip Helander at Villa Park.

Aston Villa are likely to offload centre-back Elphick over the winter with the club having to admit that they are close to breaching Financial Fair Play rules, meaning Bruce won’t have the chance to bring in too many new players and could get Elphick off the payroll at the same time.

Should the £2.25m rated Elphick leave the Midlands, his destination is likely to be Leeds United, with the club still looking for a settled line-up at the back in their quest for promotion to the Premier League. Despite the permanent signing of star defender Pontus Jansson over the summer, finding him a permanent partner at the back has not been as easy as it was last season.

Jansson, together with Kyle Bartley, was immense in central defence last season at Elland Road and very nearly provided the base for a playoff campaign at Leeds, only for a meltdown towards the end of the campaign to see them miss out on what seemed like a guaranteed top six spot.

Without the chance to bring Bartley back to the club, Leeds had high hopes for the highly regarded Liam Cooper and also brought in Everton’s Matthew Pennington, both with limited success so far.

There is still great potential in both but, Cooper looks like he will not improve as far as some had hoped while Pennington will not be around forever. Even in a shorter-term view, manager Thomas Christiansen knows he needs cover in this role and Elphick’s quality is not in dispute despite his lack of game time at Villa.

The 30-year-old Elphick would add some great experience to the Elland Road ranks and the Brighton-born defender knows how to win. As recently as 2015 he played all 46 of Bournemouth’s games en route to them gaining automatic promotion from this division, hot on the heels of doing something similar in League One the previous year.

The centre-back desperately needs game time now, having played just 12 times in the Premier League for Bournemouth two seasons ago, followed by 26 games in the Championship for Aston Villa last term. Apart from anything else, Elphick would arrive fresh and could be just what the club needs.

Written by Gary Christie

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