It’s clear where Leeds are lacking this term – goals.
The Whites have scored just 23 times, eight fewer than Championship front runners West Brom. With that in mind, signing a forward would be a cunning idea in January.
Phil Hay has quashed the potential of a move for Dwight Gayle, suggesting he could be on his way to Nottingham Forest while there have also been rumours linking Matej Vydra with a permanent £7.5m switch to Elland Road (The Mirror, 22/11, pg. 74).
But there is a younger face who could walk through the doors. Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster is the player in question but Marcelo Bielsa’s men face stiff competition to land him on temporary terms.
Also in the market for the Premier League teenager are Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Swansea.
Leeds would presumably have to lose one of their loan players for this deal to go through. They’ve already got six at their disposal and are bound to rules from the EFL which restricts more than five appearing in a single matchday squad at a time.
But if he did arrive at Leeds, would he be a good signing? Football FanCast’s writers have provided their verdicts.
“Should Leeds be in the market for Rhian Brewster? Absolutely. Will it happen? I’m not so sure. Marcelo Bielsa has hardly covered himself in glory with how he utilised Eddie Nketiah this season. His stubborn ways could see him lose out to any one of the other clubs linked to the Liverpool starlet.
“Patrick Bamford may be rounding into some nice form with two goals in two, but the Championship season still has so much to play for and squad depth will need to be called upon. If anything, a player like Brewster would offer a different type of threat. At 5 foot 11, he is more nimble and agile, very similar to Nketiah, who is not only injured but may face a return to Arsenal in January.
“It would be a statement of intent, for sure. Although, its likeliness seems slim given Bielsa’s dogged commitment to his team selection and regular brand of football.”
“Leeds have already seen one highly-rated loanee fall by the wayside in Eddie Nketiah, what would be the difference in bringing in Rhian Brewster? Despite firing in the goals whenever he has played for Marcelo Bielsa’s side (he has scored five times in 12 appearances), Nketiah has managed just 262 minutes of Championship football.
“Brewster is in a similar mould to the Arsenal prodigy, in that both are incredibly talented finishers. The 19-year-old has scored four goals in seven games at Premier League 2 level, but does he offer the same all-round game that someone like Patrick Bamford brings to the table? Bielsa is seemingly intent on having a number nine who is more than just a goal-scorer, and swooping for Brewster on loan just has another Nketiah disaster written all over it.”
“With just two senior appearances to his name, Brewster is in desperate need of first-team football. However, Leeds’ interest in him beggars belief – why do they need a new on-loan striker when they already have Eddie Nketiah at their disposal? Even though he has started just two matches, he has five goals in all competitions. Yet, for some reason, Marcelo Bielsa insists on using him in a bit-part role.”
“Why would it be any different with Brewster, when he has even fewer appearances in the professional game? The Whites may need a new striker, but taking the 19-year-old makes no sense, even if Nketiah is recalled. An academy player could surely do a similar bench-warming job.”
“This would be a strange signing and one that I’m not quite sure would be a good idea. Although there is no doubting Brewster’s talents, you can’t help but feel as though Leeds need someone with proven pedigree at this level.
“Vydra would provide them with that, having scored 65 goals in the Championship, but the 19-year-old would not. He’s only got two senior matches to his name and whether he’d be up the required standard remains to be seen.
“Once compared to a Leeds goalscoring hero of the past in Robbie Fowler, the potential is there, but with the Whites in need of a certified striker to boost their promotion hopes, they must look elsewhere. Bringing in Brewster on loan would be a gamble – one that isn’t really necessary when Patrick Bamford has been in the team ahead of a fellow loan signing, Eddie Nketiah.”
And in other news, Phil Hay has cast his view on whether Marcelo Bielsa will stay if QSI invests in Leeds…