When Marcelo Bielsa muttered last week that he was happy with his Leeds squad in January, it was disappointing to hear.
Of course, the Daniel James and Jean-Kevin Augustin sagas tell you that United don’t tend to do business too well in January but they need recruits.
The Whites missed out on Michael Cuisance in the summer who failed a medical at Elland Road and despite lacking options in the middle of the park, are unwilling to think of alternatives.
Though, with Rodrigo going off with an injury against Leicester on Sunday, it only proved why Victor Orta needs to head back into the market for a central player.
Mateusz Klich has been hopelessly out of form lately and has scored just once since the opening weekend of the campaign. Noel Whelan thinks he’s been drifting through games and the very fact he’s now started two games in a row on the bench says a lot.
The Pole is usually the first name on the team sheet and has failed to start in the league under the current manager on just three occasions. Combine Bielsa’s dwindling trust in Klich with the fact Rodrigo is struggling in English football and is now injured, Leeds simply have to be active on deadline day.
One midfield player they’ve been linked with recently is Barcelona’s Riqui Puig. The Spaniard has seemingly patched things up with Ronald Koeman after a falling out but with minimal game time being the subject of Puig’s season, a move to Leeds would be perfect for all involved.
The 21-year-old is a magician on the ball and if anyone typifies a Bielsa player, it would be him. The youngster is composed in possession, completing 89.6% of his passes this term. For context, that’s higher than every single outfield player at Leeds.
For Puig, football is an art form and he possesses an abundance of creativity. His 1.7 key passes per game in the Champions League this season is bettered only by Klich and Jack Harrison in the Whites’ squad.
At just 21, the £25k-per-week Spaniard has the world at his feet and you only need to consult words from former Italy international Gennaro Gattuso to understand that.
He said: “Riqui Puig is a spectacle, to see boys who still have a child’s face and how they treat the ball is something that amazes me, they feel football inside and it’s something like poetry. I’ve heard them talking about him for some time, it’s something you can’t cut and paste into another club.”
Those are special words and with Leeds licking their wounds in the middle of the park, they desperately need another playmaker. With Rodrigo now injured, Puig is their man.