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Leeds continue to be frustrated in search for new talent
Friday, 20th Jul 2018 19:58 by Tim Whelan

The Yorkshire Post have named four positions for which Marcelo Bielsa is looking for new players, but there is still no definite news of new signings, and time is beginning to run out. Could it be that the wages we’re offering are not competitive at Championship level?

The post has claimed that our new supremo is looking for a new centre-forward, a midfielder, a full-back and a winger, but we’ve already missed out on a few potential signings in these positions. The squad will need to be finalised before the summer transfer window closes on August 9th, earlier than in previous seasons, so it’s no wonder that the fans are starting to get a bit twitchy.

In the striker department, the latest name in the frame is Mo Eisa, according to Gloucestershire Live at least. The Cheltenham Town striker found the net 25 times last season in his 50 games in all competitions, but the majority of those were in league 2. Given that he’s already 24 you’d have to doubt he would be good enough for the Championship, and there has been no confirmation from Leeds that we’re looking to sign the player.

Another striker we’ve been linked with is 26-year-old Mbaye Diagne, who is currently at Istanbul club Kasimpasa. The Senegalese player is valued at £3.6m and Hull City are also said to be interested. But sources in Turkey are suggesting that his wage demands are likely to be more than anything Leeds are willing or able to pay, which could put paid to our hopes of a signing.

That also seems to be the case with Dutch winger Florian Jozefzoon, who has opted to move from Brentford to Derby County, even though Leeds had agreed to pay the £2.75m wanted by his current club. Jozefzoon is claiming to have been swayed by the prospect of being coached by Frank Lampard, even though the former England man is completely new to management.

It could be that the real reason Jozefzoon is so keen to head to Pride Park is the lucrative wage deal he is said to have been offered. Given that Matej Vydra suddenly upped his wage demands when Leeds came calling and so far has remained at Derby, you have to wonder whether the Rams have received extra investment and that Vydra was offered an increase by his current club.

There might be better news concerning left-back Joe Bryan, as Bristol City are now said to be willing to accept less than their original valuation of £10m. Bryan is about to enter the final year of his contract at Ashton Gate, but Leeds will face competition for his signature from Middlesbrough.

The pursuit of another left-back suggests that Bielsa doesn’t have much faith in De Bock, presumably having noticed the Belgian’s poor start to his time at Leeds on the many videos of last season he had to endure. I was hoping that De Bock would get the chance to get his act together, given that we paid £4m for him only six months ago, but his cause won’t have been helped by being played out of position in last night’s friendly at York.

There is no news of any prospective signings in midfield, though you might have thought that we had enough players in that department already. Especially as Idechuchi and Klich had good reviews of their performances last night, though as a stronger team was fielded earlier in the week at Forest Green, it’s possible that the side who faced York are likely to be backup squad members rather than the favoured first team.

A clue might be Bielsa’s experiment in playing midfielders at centre back last night, and suggestions that he likes midfielders there in order to play the ball out from the back. This might also explain why the Post hasn’t listed a central defender among the positions where we looking for players, even though we failed in our efforts to sign Kyle Bartley.

This idea might work, but I’m old fashioned enough to prefer to have proper central defenders in that position, especially in a physical division like the Championship. For me the priority is for defenders to be able defend.

But what do I know. Let’s just hope that in the final few weeks the transfer window will be a lot more productive for Leeds United than it has been so far.

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