The January transfer window is open and one club that need to do some business is Leeds United.
The Whites were in a similar position this time last year, and fans ended up fuming with Andrea Radrizzani for his lack of winter investment once the Yorkshire club failed to gain promotion from the Championship.
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Fortunately, it seems as if United won’t be falling into the same trap this time around as they have recently been linked with a couple of talented players at this level.
Alan Nixon provided the news last weekend that the Yorkshire club want to sign Luke Freeman from Sheffield United and Cauley Woodrow from Barnsley.
We’ve already spoken about Woodrow’s potential move to Elland Road here on FFC, but we’ve left it to our team of writers to ponder whether or not Freeman would be a good signing for Marcelo Bielsa’s side in the January transfer window.
“This could be a possible Clarke replacement for Leeds. Luke Freeman may not have made it in the Premier League with Sheffield United this term, failing to contribute to a single goal, but his record in the Championship is a threatening one.
“The former Arsenal man scored six times and registered eight assists from the wing alone last term and based on that, he’d be a handy acquisition for a side now lacking attacking depth after Clarke and Eddie Nketiah were recalled by their respective parent clubs.
“A replacement for the former may not be needed given Tyler Roberts’ ability to play on the flanks but someone with a known record of performing at the level required would be more than useful. If Leeds can conclude a cheap deal that doesn’t eat into their FFP restrictions too much, they must get it done.
“Marcelo Bielsa must pull out all the stops to clinch Luke Freeman this month. His record in the Championship speaks for itself.
“Across his last two seasons at Queens Park Rangers, he scored 12 goals and provided 18 assists from midfield which is a phenomenal feat and while he’s struggling for game time at Sheffield United this season, a move such as this can only be a win-win for all parties.
“Given the number of injuries Leeds suffer in central midfield, with Adam Forshaw and Jamie Shackleton missing for large periods, adding a player in that position is a must if they are to conquer the league title this season. Freeman is absolutely the perfect man and the perfect fit.”
“Whilst Luke Freeman has plenty of lower league experience to his name with the likes of Bristol City and Queens Park Rangers, his distinctly average displays in the Premier League with Sheffield United this season should set alarm bells ringing for Marcelo Bielsa.
“Even factoring in the limited game-time he has been involved in – he has played just nine times in the top-flight – all of Freeman’s most important attacking numbers have fallen through the roof.
“This season has seen him average just 0.2 shots and 0.3 key passes per game – in contrast, last year, he averaged two apiece in both categories with QPR. Leeds desperately need to think of the long-term and not just trying to secure promotion this season.
“He has shown no signs of adapting to the step-up in quality to the Premier League, and it’s a move Victor Orta should swerve.”
“I think Luke Freeman is exactly what Leeds United need.
“Not just until the end of the season, but for years to come, Freeman could be a key player at Elland Road.
“He may not be getting too much of a chance at Sheffield United, but Chris Wilder can be stubborn with his team selection as shown by John Lundstram not getting much of a sniff in the Championship before playing regularly in the top-flight.
“Freeman was nothing short of brilliant at QPR as he won the Supporters’ Player of the Year award last season, and there’s no reason why he can’t pick up where he left off at Loftus Road.”