On Sunday’s evidence, Leeds are clearly in need of more depth.
Marcelo Bielsa picked a range of youth and experience when the Whites met Crawley but the stand-in players hardly did a good job.
The Yorkshire side fell to a 3-0 defeat and in the process, completely embarrassed themselves in the FA Cup.
Leeds chose to go with a three-man backline but Jamie Shackleton was given a torrid time alongside Kalvin Phillips at right-wing back. He was dominated by Nick Tsaroulla down the left who opened the scoring and completed 100% of his dribbles.
Of course, the usual nominees for that third of the pitch – Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling – both weren’t playing. The latter has been playing as a makeshift centre-back in recent weeks but what Shackleton’s display demonstrated was that they need an extra body capable of filling in on the right.
Fortunately, that could be forthcoming. Last week it was reported by The Daily Mail that Leeds had held discussions among their recruitment team about signing Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez.
The nine cap Spain international is capable of playing on the right wing and at right-back, and he shone in that defensive position against Osasuna, keeping a clean-sheet and showing the type of attributes we’ve become accustomed to seeing from Dallas in recent years.
Real boss Zinedine Zidane said at the beginning of the year: “What he’s doing right now doesn’t surprise us. Not only do I like him, we all like him because he is always on the job and reliable. He always gives everything on the pitch and we appreciate that.”
He was stern in the tackle but was also calm and composed in possession of the ball. Vazquez was well-disciplined, not committing a single foul and winning eight of the duels he contested.
This was a performance that went under the radar but like Dallas, he deserves special praise for doing things safely and securely.
If Leeds have a chance to sign the 29-year-old this month, they must do so.