This January transfer window will be a pivotal one for Leeds United and their top-flight status.
It may also be a crucial one for Marcelo Bielsa who is under pressure to keep his job following a torrid season so far.
Leeds headed into Christmas in 16th place and although they still have a cushion to the foot of the table, it might not be too long before they get dragged into a relegation battle.
Thus, the Whites must go against their winter traditions of rarely signing anyone by strengthening significantly next month.
One player who is a potential target for Victor Orta is Georgian winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
Football FanCast exclusively revealed earlier this year that Leeds’ recruitment director had already spoken to him about a move and now the Express suggest that their chase of the attacker could be reunited in 2022.
He is currently valued at £16.2m via Transfermarkt.
Last summer, Leeds finally managed to bring Dan James to Elland Road as he departed Manchester United for pastures new.
The zippy Welsh forward was in the building and was set to sign for the Elland Road outfit back in 2019 but a move fell through at the 11th hour despite documents being signed and James posing with a Leeds shirt.
Yet, two years on, they finally got their man a few months ago.
Sadly, his performances since moving to Yorkshire haven’t really been up to scratch. The Wales international has featured 16 times for Bielsa’s side but has only registered a solitary goal and two assists.
That form has led to considerable criticism, particularly from Darren Bent. He told Football Insider:
“The only thing about Dan James at times, for me, he’s a little bit headless.
“He’s shown great potential, when he first went to United he played really well, scored a few goals but at times he for me he’s fouled or he shoots sometimes when he should pass it, he’ll pass when he should shoot.”
Though, with Leeds’ mass injury problems, it’s been hard to ignore him in the starting XI.
That said, by signing Kvaratskhelia this winter, Bielsa could finally be granted the license to axe James from the starting XI.
The 20-year-old currently plays his football in Russia for Rubin Kazan and has proven to be a particularly tricky customer.
Although he’s only bagged one goal, he’s registered three assists and registered a whopping 2.7 dribbles per match. For context, that’s more than any player at Thorp Arch, including Raphinha who has managed 2.4 per game.
Described as a player with “crazy technique” by Russian coach Denis Bushuev, he has also been compared to two of the trickiest wingers we’ve seen in football.
“He is from the same constellation of players as Ribery or Robben,” Bushuev admitted.
Consequently, it would appear as if Kvaratskhelia would be an eye-catching signing for Leeds this winter. Not only would he add greater quality to the squad but it would give James a chance to rest on the sidelines and reapply himself.