The previous summer transfer window saw Leeds United bring in players such as Dan James, Junior Firpo and Kristoffer Klaesson whilst securing a permanent deal for Jack Harrison.
Even though they brought in Firpo to occupy the left-back position in Alioski’s absence, Leeds only have him and Liam McCarron in their squad who predominantly play in that area of the pitch.
With this in mind and the fact that the January transfer window has now opened, it seems as though the Whites have their eye on signing a player who could add some depth to Bielsa’s squad at left-back.
According to a recent club-by-club January transfer guide from the Daily Mail, Leeds have an interest in signing Rangers left-back James Maxwell.
After joining Rangers’ youth side back in 2019, the 20-year-old has only made 11 appearances for the club’s underage teams, having spent the majority of his time out on loan. The defender is currently on loan with Ayr United in the Scottish Championship, where he has made 19 appearances across all competitions, scoring two goals and providing three assists along the way.
Despite predominantly being a left-back, Maxwell has been deployed in more attacking roles on the left and right sides of the pitch this season, highlighting his versatility. This shows how similar he is to Alioski, who predominantly plays as a left-back but has lined out elsewhere across the pitch on numerous occasions.
In terms of a potential move to Leeds in January, the Whites should definitely make an approach to Rangers in the coming weeks to see if they would be willing to cash in on the youngster and give Bielsa another young and versatile player to add to his squad.
After all, he’s a player that’s held in incredibly high esteem north of the border. Dave Hopkin, his former boss, once said: “He is improving all the time, is strong and very quick. James will give us something different in the squad which will give us a variety of options in terms of the way we play.”
Ayr managing director, Graeme Mathie, added: “He’s a talented player and his versatility will make him of obvious interest to others.”
Given his age and the aforementioned attacking versatility, it could be a wise investment for the Yorkshire club, not only as a potential long-term replacement for Alioski but also as yet another young talent who could follow in the footsteps of Joe Gelhardt or Crysencio Summerville as young players getting their chance in the first team at Elland Road.