Leeds United have come under fire for their lack of activity in the transfer market this summer having brought in just three new faces for the first-team.
The Whites made seven first-team signings last summer, but Kristoffer Klaesson, Junior Firpo and Jack Harrison are the only three to be recruited for the senior squad this season.
Scrutiny intensified following the 5-1 humbling at Old Trafford last week and the criticism prompted a response from chief executive Angus Kinnear, who defended the club’s approach to the window in his programme notes ahead of the draw with Everton.
He revealed the Whites have ‘vigorously resisted’ over £100m of interest in their players, although he did not mention which assets had attracted admirers.
Although Leeds do not boast tremendous squad depth, their retention of key figures has ensured their strongest starting XI is talented enough to compete with any Premier League counterpart.
It is also vital to consider the Whites are just over a year into their Premier League stay and few invest to the extent Leeds did last summer following promotion from the Championship.
There are, of course, areas in which the squad requires strengthening and the defeat to Manchester United highlighted a lack of natural cover for midfield anchor Kalvin Phillips.
However, there is cruel irony in the debate over the need for a deputy, as the funds to recruit someone capable of covering for Phillips would likely only be made available by selling the England international.
There is also the issue of the role Phillips plays for Leeds being a unique one and the fact a deputy would be difficult to find, and even more difficult to convince to play second fiddle.
In an ideal world, Leeds would emulate the heavy investment of last summer and charge towards Europe, swiftly re-establishing themselves amongst England’s elite.
However, in a time the Premier League’s most wealthy can prise talent away from clubs lower down the table with relative ease, Leeds should be admired for holding on to the likes of Phillips and Raphinha, who are the most likely to have caught the eye of England’s giants.
The debate regarding the club’s activity in the summer window will rage on, but credit must be given where credit is due and Leeds deserve it for their defiant stance over key figures.