Leeds have endured a rather rocky start to the New Year.
With three successive defeats, utilising the transfer window to strengthen their armoury would certainly not be a bad idea.
Given what happened with Dan James and Jean-Kevin Augustin in the last two years, it would be surprising if Leeds were very active in the market this month.
However, with Marcelo Bielsa’s men currently struggling for creativity, they’ve been urged to sign a player currently at Manchester United.
Speaking to talkSPORT radio (16/01/21), former footballer Gabby Agbonlahor suggested that Victor Orta’s recruitment team should move for none other than Jesse Lingard.
He said: “You can’t rely on one player [Phillips]. You have to have someone that can fill in, so you’d have to look in the transfer window. Watching the midfield today, you got outrun.
“Struijk wasn’t very good for me. I’ll throw a name out there that you might agree with, or not. Jesse Lingard, I feel like he could be a good addition to the Leeds squad – get him on loan for six months.”
Depending on the terms of the deal, it could be an expensive one given the midfielder is on £75k-per-week at Old Trafford.
On paper, signing Lingard doesn’t look like a complete masterstroke. This is a player who hasn’t played at all in the Premier League this term, and someone who only found the net in the top-flight once last season.
Furthermore, Leeds have seen first hand a bad experience of the 28-year-old. Lingard has started just once against the Whites in his career but in that game, he was utterly abysmal, being torn apart by a rampant Leeds side who won 4-0 in 2013.
On that evidence alone, he’d offer very little to this squad, but judging him by one game wouldn’t be fair on the player and pivotally, he has plenty of experience at the top level and has previously thrived in the highest division and on the international stage.
Lingard was a key figure when England reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2018, helping himself to eight goals and five assists in the league during the build-up to that tournament.
Clearly, his levels have dropped in recent years, but that’s likely more through a lack of football than anything else.
Leeds failed to create a single big chance against Brighton, with Luke Ayling amassing the most key passes on the field for the Whites and they evidently need someone who can come in and create.
Judging by Pablo Hernandez’s two starts in the Premier League, Bielsa doesn’t trust him and consequently, new recruits are needed.
Lingard is assured with his passing – averaging a career success rate of 86.7%, which for context is higher than both Mateusz Klich (81.2%) and Hernandez (76.8). Furthermore, he’s also got a higher success rate than club-record signing Rodrigo (74.8%).
Described as a “unique” individual by Michael Carrick, perhaps the Man United midfielder could be the recruit they need to finally break down a low block.
Possessing more Premier League knowledge than anyone in the Leeds squad – 133 appearances – his experience could be exactly what Bielsa requires in order to establish his side in the top-flight. Thus, they should look to sign him if the chance arrives. Leeds simply have to find more creativity from somewhere.
Dare we say it, given his position, he might even stop Hernandez’s Leeds career in its tracks.