Despite the fact the traditional transfer window has now slammed shut, an emergency loan window affords Championship clubs the chance to strengthen their sides going into the business end of the season.
Particularly for Leeds United, who are languishing somewhat toward the wrong end of the table, the injection of some fresh faces could spark an upturn in fortunes.
While a late surge for the playoff places may be somewhat unlikely, dipping into the transfer market while there’s still time could provide a fresh sense of optimism to the halls of Elland Road.
Manager Steve Evans has spoken of his intentions to build for next season, though this term is in grave danger of petering out. Perhaps a short look across the Pennines could help reignite the season and create a feeling of good will going into next.
With fierce rivals Manchester United still battling for a place in the Champions League, Red Devils chief Louis van Gaal is unlikely to blood too many youngsters as he needs immediate impact.
Though injuries could force the Dutchman’s hand, the club have a proud history of producing academy players, with some exciting names currently on the periphery of the first-team.
With that in mind, here are FIVE Manchester United players Leeds could look to sign in the emergency window…
Leeds have struggled to score all season, and while the blame will clearly lie at the door of their strikers, the frontmen could clearly use some help from elsewhere in the side.
Particularly at home, the club have struggled. Having notched just 12 times in the Yorkshire stadium so far, the Whites obviously struggle to be on the front foot.
Currently plying his trade in the Manchester under-21 side is a young man by the name of Joe Rothwell. The 21-year old have previously enjoyed loan spells at both Barnsley and Blackpool, though has struggled to break the first-team at Old Trafford.
An intelligent midfielder, he possesses the dynamism to push forward and support the frontline. Qualities the Championship outfit are in desperate need of.
The problems dogging Evans at the club are sadly not solely confined to the attacking department. While the rearguard may be slightly stronger than their forward operating counterparts, there is certainly room for improvement.
Sol Bamba has reportedly fallen out of favour with the Scot after voicing his discontent with the club’s transfer dealings in the recent window.
As a result, perhaps a spot could emerge at the heart of defence. RoShaun Williams impressed in the recent academy win over Man City and would benefit from a run in a Championship side.
Though just 17 years of age, he has captained youth sides for the club in his short career and possesses the kind of recovery pace that affords the side the chances to push forward.
Probably the most well known of those included in this feature, Paddy McNair would be an astute addition to any Championship side.
Gaetano Beradi is not far off a return, but his absence has revealed some deep problems at right-back. While it’s important to stress that Scot Wootton was playing out of position, the 24-year old was booed off by sections of support in the clash with Forest.
McNair is as adept on the right as he is centrally and could certainly use some game time in the run up to Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 campaign.
Will Keane was recalled from a loan spell with Preston North End, though is still struggling to command a run in the first team.
Clearly, he’s rated by those at Old Trafford, but the intense amount of pressure facing van Gaal right now affords little opportunity to blood a largely untested 22-year old.
Since his return, he has notched ten goals in just six games, including FIVE in the 7-0 demolition of Norwich City. With Wayne Rooney back in form, perhaps the position has changed somewhat since the decision to recall Keane.
It may seem unlikely, but definitely worth a gamble as Evans struggles to find goals.
A lot of the problems effecting the Whites are when they are playing at home. The counter attacking style most often deployed by the former Rotherham boss may be a viable option when playing a way, but a club like Leeds need to entertain on home soil.
While the issues dogging the strikers have been discussed, there’s a relative dearth in players who can truly excite the crowd.
Enter, James Weir. The 20-year old is a positive attacking midfielder, constantly looking to drive at teams with his pace and trickery. Able to play in a central role, or even as a winger, the rising star should certainly be looked into at least.