Why Leeds United should sign a midfielder before the end of the transfer window

It has been a rather quiet transfer window for Leeds United as the club goes into its second successive Premier League season following a 16-year absence.

Marcelo Bielsa brought in Barcelona’s Junior Firpo to replace the departing Ezgjan Alioski, while goalkeeper Kristoffer Klassen arrived from Valerenga.

Sean McGurk, Lewis Bate and Amari Miller have all joined the club’s academy set-up and Jack Harrison made the permanent switch from Manchester City.

There has also been some outgoings, with Alioski, Pablo Hernandez and Barry Douglas all leaving Elland Road upon the expiry of their contracts.

However, with just under two weeks to go until the transfer window slams shut, the need for new faces is evident.

There’s a distinct lack of depth in the midfield area, especially in that deeper role when Kalvin Phillips doesn’t play.

Centre-back Robin Koch was deployed there in the 5-1 defeat at Manchester United and struggled for large parts, whilst Pascal Struijk has also played there in the past.

Phillips returned to the Leeds camp late in pre-season after his Euro 2020 campaign and could only make the bench for the game at Old Trafford.

Although there’s no doubt the 25-year-old is a terrific player and one of the Whites’ most important, he has had his injury concerns, especially towards the back end of last season.

Stuart Dallas and Mateusz Klich have been preferred in the two-man role just in front of Phillips, but there’s not too many back-up options to fill their boots.

Jamie Shackleton is still adjusting himself to senior football and is yet to establish himself as a first-team regular, whilst Adam Forshaw hasn’t featured since the promotion-winning campaign.

The loss to the Red Devils perfectly encapsulated why that area is problem, as Dallas had to drop in at left-back, leaving Rodrigo, who is predominately a striker, to play in midfield.

It would be a risk for Bielsa not to strengthen in that area before August 31 and they have been linked with adding a new midfielder.

The Whites are reportedly interested in signing Josh Brownhill from Burnley after he was only named on the bench for their opening day clash against Brighton & Hove Albion.

A versatile operator, the 25-year-old has played in a number of different roles since he made the switch to the Clarets, including the more deeper midfield role.

Brownhill’s physical attributes would suit Leeds’ high pressing approach and he has shown that he is already capable of adapting into different formations with Bristol City under Lee Johnson.

Lewis O’Brien is another name who has been heavily linked to the club and would be a timely signing should he join from Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town.

Although the Premier League schedule is unlikely to be as action-packed as last season, games are expected to come thick and fast with the problems that could occur from the on going coronavirus pandemic.

Lewis O'Brien of Huddersfield Town
Lewis O’Brien of Huddersfield

Leeds do possess the second smallest squad in the division behind Burnley but it has benefited them in the past after they finished ninth last term.

They have just five senior central midfielders and despite the success of the club’s Under 23s side who have provided a platform to bring young talents through, an experienced head is needed.

Bielsa’s men face Everton today in their first home game of the season and the outcome of that match could determine whether they move to sign anybody else before deadline day.

Highly-rated Belgian winger Noa Lang has reportedly agreed personal terms to join the Whites, whilst Matheus Cunha’s Hertha Berlin future remains unclear.

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