The January transfer window is usually a high octane affair for Leeds but it would appear that Victor Orta has learnt the error of his ways.
It’s unlikely the Whites will do any business this month but despite the hiccups they had with Daniel James and Jean-Kevin Augustin in years gone by, it would be a mistake to completely ignore the opportunity to strengthen.
Leeds are hardly impressing at the moment and are yet to win in 2021. A 3-0 defeat to Crawley in the FA Cup just about summed up their issues.
They are lacking depth and they don’t have the strength in numbers to truly compete. Though, we should hardly be surprised. Marcelo Bielsa isn’t a coach who likes to work with a big squad and he barely ever rotates his starting XI unless there are injuries or fitness concerns.
He did tinker against Crawley, though, and it didn’t pay off. Pascal Struijk was hauled off at half-time and was also far from impressive during the defeat to Brighton. He was playing as a makeshift defensive midfielder in both ties and it demonstrated that without Kalvin Phillips in that role, they have a big problem.
Phillips bizarrely played at centre-half in the FA Cup and was then suspended when the Seagulls defeated Bielsa’s men at Elland Road. They lacked a link from defence to attack but they could solve that in the transfer market.
Truth be told, any midfielder would add more depth, but if they can sign one as talented as Erick Pulgar they’d be in serious business.
The Argentine has been linked with Leeds this month but they’re now facing competition from Real Bets and Sevilla in Spain.
The battling Fiorentina midfielder is on a salary of £41k-per-week so would be a pretty pricey capture. That being said, for a player of his quality and versatility, they cannot ignore him based on that.
Described as a “powerful” individual by Italian coach Cesare Prandelli, Pulgar is the definition of a midfield workhorse – someone who runs himself into the ground and tackles with great regularity.
Though, his ability to score goals – he netted seven times last season – proves he wouldn’t just add depth in defensive midfield but he’d also be able to stand in and compete for a place alongside Rodrigo and Mateusz Klich further forward.
After all, he is a bundle of energy and has made more ball recoveries per 90 minutes (12.6) than his main competitors for a position in Leeds’ midfield. Struijk is the next best on 12.1, but Phillips (11.7) and Klich (10.5) are slightly further behind.
On that evidence, he would be perfect for Bielsa. He can hound the opposition and thus, would not only fix their struggling midfield but add even more quality.
This would be an exceptional addition from Orta.