Leeds looking to strengthen as Bielsa fine-tunes the squad
Thursday, 16th Aug 2018 22:49 by Tim Whelan
Leeds have been linked Peterborough United’s Marcus Maddison and Iranian defender Morteza Pouraliganji, but it looks like three players currently on the books have no future at Elland Road.
Although the transfer window for permanent signings has now closed, Football League clubs can still make loan deals up to the end of the month. According to ‘Peterborough Today’, attacking midfield player Marcus Maddison could be available on a ‘loan to buy’ basis, with a view to a possible £6m transfer in the new year.
The paper names Leeds as one of three Championship clubs who are chasing the player, who has scored 42 goals in the 177 games he has played for the Posh. You might think we’ve got enough central midfield players already, but the ‘playmaker’ would be useful as a backup for Saiz or Hernandez.
One area where we certainly need more options in the squad is central defence, where we currently have Berardi playing out of position while Pontus Jansson tries to find his feet again after missing the club’s pre-season programme. One option is Iran international Morteza Pouraliganji, who we can sign immediately as he is currently out of contract.
The 26-year-old has left his previous club Al-Sadd without agreeing a new deal, even though he played every minute of his country’s three games in the world cup. According to reports in Tehran, Leeds are likely to make an offer to the player soon. This comes after Leeds missed out on another potential defensive signing, as Chelsea’s Kenneth Omeruo has opted to move to Spanish side Leganes.
Meanwhile, Marcelo Bielsa confirmed in his press conference today that three players already at Elland Road won’t be part of his plans this season. He was asked about O'Kane, Ekuban and Anita, none of whom featured in pre-season or received a squad number. He explained that he would prefer to give opportunities to the younger players at the club, and that it’s unlikely that any of the trio would be likely to get much game time.
"If we have one position and three players it's very difficult that the third player in the position gets time to play. I saw every game and every minute that they played last year and I also listened to the opinion of the club. We then built a group where we have two players for each position and if we had acted in another way it would have been counterproductive.”
"I would be doing something not very good to one of the three players, so when you take decisions you have to transmit them at the right moment and I think this is an honest behaviour.” Of the three players I think that Anita can feel most hard done by, as he’s never had the chance to play for Leeds in his favoured position in midfield, but we’ll just have to take it that Bielsa knows best.
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