In addition to their poor results in the Premier League so far this season with just three wins in 18 games, Leeds United have had to deal with a lot of injury issues throughout the campaign with the likes of Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford, Charlie Cresswell, Rodrigo, Liam Cooper and Pascal Struijk currently out.
Looking specifically at Phillips, Marcelo Bielsa’s side seem to struggle when he’s not in the side, mainly from a defensive point of view having lost five of the six league games he’s missed so far this season.
With this in mind and the fact that the January transfer window is close to opening, one player that the Yorkshire club could bring in that could potentially fill in for the injured England international and help the team’s leaky defence with 36 conceded, is Celta Vigo midfielder Okay Yokuslu.
Having been linked with a move for the former West Bromwich Albion loanee in the past, Yokuslu has been suggested for a move to Elland Road by Kevin Phillips who recently said that Yokuslu “would be a great option” for a potential January move, even more so that Reading’s John Swift, who Leeds have been linked to recently.
During his time at West Brom last season when the Baggies were relegated, Yokuslu managed to end the campaign as their joint-highest rated player with an overall performance rating of 6.96/10 alongside attacker Matheus Pereira according to WhoScored, showing just how capable he is of playing in the Premier League.
He also managed to rack up an average of 2.4 tackles per game, the second-highest of anyone at West Brom last season and 2.2 interceptions per game, higher than any other Baggies player, proving why he was labelled as a “tenacious” player by Kyle Bartley.
As well as this, Yokuslu was on the end of a lot of praise from Sam Allardyce who brought the player to West Brom by likening him to Fernando Hierro and Ivan Campo.
Looking ahead to January, Victor Orta could help Bielsa fix Leeds’ issue of being defensively weaker without Phillips in the team by securing a deal for Yokuslu to see if he can have the same sort of impact he had last term, remaining as defensively strong for the Yorkshire side this time around as he was for West Brom.