Leeds look to sign a proper Left-Back
Wednesday, 11th Oct 2017 17:56 by Tim Whelan
Leeds United are looking to sign for Huddersfield Town left-back Scott Malone on a loan move, according to ClubCall.
With Leeds having hit a bit of a sticky patch before the international break, including three consecutive defeats away from home, it’s not surprising that the defence has come in for quite a bit of criticism. And left back has been identified as a problem position, with several other players having to operate there when it’s not their preferred role.
It was a bit of a surprise that while we were busy signing umpteen new players during the summer, none of them was a quality specialist left-back, even though it was known that Charlie Taylor would be leaving. OK, so we did take Cameron Borthwick-Jackson on loan from Man U, with a view to him filling in in that position, but he has proved to be disappointingly rubbish whenever he has turned out for us so far. Which perhaps we could have seen coming, given that he failed to establish himself in our division when he was at Wolves last season.
In the absence of a proper left-back, Berardi and Anita have played their out of position, but with both being right footed, they have struggled when up against a quality winger on that flank. Berardi copped a bit of flack on the messageboards after the Cardiff and Wednesday games, but I think that players deserve to be judged on how they perform in the role they prefer, not when they’re doing their best while playing elsewhere on the field for the same of the team.
Stuart Dallas also had a go at left back at Burnley when the floundering Borthwick-Jackson had to be substituted in the cup tie at Burnley, but to pursue that option we might to play with three central defenders, to give Dallas the opportunity to get forward as a wing-back. And we have fielded Liam Cooper at left back a few times, and at least he is left footed, though might lack the pace to deal with a quality opposition right winger. And we could only put him there on the occasions when two other central defenders were fit and available.
But it seems that at last this problem is being addressed by the powers that be at the club, although with the new rules this season, we can’t sign a loan player until the transfer window opens in the new year. The man in question is 26 year-old Scott Malone, who moved from Fulham to Huddersfield in the summer, but has only made two appearances since for the dog botherers. He has previously represented Wolves, Bournemouth, Millwall and Cardiff.
It’s a little bit embarrassing to have to accept a cast-off from our lesser West Yorkshire neighbours, but unlike Borthwick-Jackson, Malone does at least have a track record of being able to perform in our current division. He was a key member of the Fulham side who reached the play-offs last season, as was regarded as one of the best full-back in the Championship. So it’s not surprising that Thomas Christiansen is interested, but we might face a bit of competition for his signature.
It’s a better late than never to be looking for a left-back, and let’s hope we manage not to slip any further down the table before we’re able to add to the squad in the new year.
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