Two players Leeds United should target in January
Leeds United are currently third in the EFL Championship table after their 4-1 loss to West Bromwich Albion over the weekend. They are 3 points behind the Baggies, who are placed at the top of the table. Under Marcelo Bielsa, the Yorkshire-based outfit have been a force to reckon with and following their strong start to the campaign, a promotion back to the Premier League is looking like a distinct possibility.
However, given the long and arduous nature of the campaign and considering that the Whites have already faced a number of injury setbacks very early in the campaign, it wouldn’t be the worst idea for the club to go out and add a few new faces to the squad in January.
To that end, here are two players that Bielsa and Leeds should target in the winter transfer window;
Stefan Johansen (Fulham)
The 27-year-old Fulham midfielder has found himself warming benches more often than not this term, despite playing an instrumental role in their promotion-winning campaign last season. With the likes of Jean Michel Seri, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Kevin McDonald and Tom Cairney all ahead of him in the pecking order, his chances are unlikely to improve.
So far, Johansen has managed just three starts in the Premier League and considering that he will be out of contract in the summer, Leeds should capitalize on the situation and attempt to land him on a cut-price deal in January. An all-action midfielder, Johansen would add more energy and drive in the middle of the park and can be an asset to Leeds with his ability to score and set up goals.
The Norwegian has all the attributes needed to fit seamlessly into the Bielsa’s style and plans. His experience of winning promotion from the Premier League would be vital for the Whites in the second half of the campaign, which is why they should consider moving for him in the winter.
Fernando Llorente (Tottenham Hotspur)
The 33-year-old was an integral part of the Athletic Bilbao side under Bielsa as the Spanish outfit managed to reach the UEFA Europa League final in the 2011/12 season, beating the likes of Manchester United along the way. Under Bielsa, Llorente featured 89 times for the Basque club and netted 34 times, while setting up eight more.
Since then, he has had successful spells at Juventus, Sevilla and Swansea City, before moving to Tottenham in 2017 summer. At Spurs, he played second fiddle to Harry Kane and finished last season with just five goals, having made 10 starts across all competitions.
With Patrick Bamford out with an injury, Kemar Roofe has had to carry the entire goalscoring burden all by himself. And adding another experienced striker in the form of Llorente to the squad on loan wouldn’t be the worst idea for Leeds. The Spaniard has the quality to make a difference at the Championship level and while he might not be a starter in Bielsa’s team, he can definitely essay the role of an impact substitute.