West Ham United and Leeds have already been involved with transfer dealings in the early stages of 2016 as the highly rated Sam Byram departed Yorkshire for the glittering lights of London.
It will come as a blow for the Whites, though finally they can move on from what was fast becoming a saga due to the 22-year old’s contract dispute.
However, the dealings between the two parties should not end there. The Hammers have a fine history of producing young players, though the sheer competitiveness of the Premier League does provide the easiest of platforms to blood into the first-team.
As their squad continues to develop with the likes of Dimitri Payet, perhaps their talented crop of youngsters could find some first-team experience invaluable.
With Leeds boss Steve Evans in danger of seeing his season fade away, the Scot could certainly use a few fresh faces around Elland Road. While they sit 11 points off the relegation places as things stand, a surge for the playoffs is as unlikely as dropping out of the second tier.
One could argue that the arrival of new faces is not desperately required then. However, the club have the chance to create a sense of momentum going into next season, which can be crucial if they intend to challenge for promotion at last.
It could also improve their performances at Elland Road, some of which have been dire.
With that in mind, here are FIVE West Ham players Leeds should sign on loan during the emergency window…
Leeds are lacking a combative presence in the middle of the park, somehow to drive the team forward, particularly at home. Too often do they set up as the away side, even when playing in front of their own fans.
It may seem ambitious to move for Reece Oxford, who performed so well at the start of the season. However, the Hammers are taking the admirable step of slowly nurturing him due to his tender age, having only recently tuned 17 years of age.
Big clubs may reportedly be circling the England U17 international, though realistically with long-term planning in mind. In the meantime, a brief stint at a big club like Leeds could help him get to grips with plying his trade at clubs with certain level of expectation.
Joey O’Brien is a seasoned veteran of life in the Premier League and can operate in a variety of positions across the backline and into midfield.
Since the departure of Byram, the Whites have struggled down the right flank. Though it must be stated that Scott Wootton has been shunted of position, the 24-year-old came under some heavy criticism in the loss against Nottingham Forest.
As Gaetano Berardi returns from injury, the right-back department has looked a little light. Making a move for the Hammers’ Irish stalwart would be a good move, with his versatility something that could prove invaluable towards the business end of the season.
Too often do either Chris Wood or Mirco Antenucci look isolated up front, making a 4-3-3 look more like a 4-5-1. Though both could improve in their centre-forward play, the pair clearly need more support.
One of the most talented youngsters in the West Ham academy setup is young Djar Parfitt-Williams. The Bermuda born teenager is adept either as an out and out striker, or can operate on either wing.
Crucially, he can add goals from the Number 10 position. Perhaps a stint in the Championship can toughen up the former MLS prodigy, who clearly has the technical skill and trickery to make an impact on games.
For someone who is just 22 years of age, Canadian defender Doneil Henry has a wealth of experience to his name. Having plied his trade in Canada, Cyprus and England, as well as picking up 15 international caps, the former Toronto FC youngster is struggling to get much of a look in at Upton Park.
Still, he brings an athleticism to the rearguard perhaps Leeds have been sorely missing. With Sol Bamba out of the side, the Canada star can bring pace and an astute reading of the game to Steve Evans’ defence once more.
Having spent time with Blackburn Rovers, he’s also proved he has the physical mettle to last in England’s second tier.
With Ross Turnbull still feeling the effects of a serious ankle injury picked up earlier in the campaign, the club could use a backup for current custodian Marco Silvestri.
Though young Bailey Peacock-Farrell has impressed, Evans could certainly use drafting in a backup ‘keeper to provide both cover and competition for his Italian shot stopper.
West Ham’s Raphael Spiegel could be a good option in that regard. The Swiss ‘keeper has a wealth of experience in his homeland with Grasshopper and won the U17 World Cup.
Previously, he’s spent time out on loan at both Crawley Town and Barnet, though will surely be eager to make the step up.