Pundit baffled by ‘bizarre’ transfer approach at Leeds United

Joe Williams
Leeds director Victor Orta bends over

Former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips is shocked that Leeds United failed to bring in any new signings during the January transfer window.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side have failed to hit the same heights as last season and in the continued absence of several key players sit 15th in the Premier League, seven points above the relegation zone.

Bielsa has been forced to hand top-flight debuts to eight teenagers and when the final whistle blew in his side’s recent win at West Ham he was without 10 first-team players.

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Midfielder Kalvin Phillips and skipper Liam Cooper have been sidelined with hamstring injuries since early November, while successive ankle, hip and foot problems have restricted leading goalscorer Patrick Bamford to six league appearances.

Several players are expected to return to contention after the winter break and boost Bielsa’s options in time for the game at Aston Villa on February 9.

But Phillips – who once scored 30 Premier League goals in one season – can’t understand why the club didn’t make moves in the January transfer window.

Phillips told Football Insider: “It’s bizarre. Only Victor Orta and Marcelo Bielsa can answer why they didn’t get anyone in.

“You think they’d want to freshen it up, especially seeing as this season hasn’t gone to plan. They have had so many injuries.

“A new signing can give everyone a lift. It can inspire people. Bielsa has shown he can be very stubborn or maybe it is because they don’t have the finances. Who knows.

“I’m surprised they didn’t dip into the market though. A couple of new faces would have been a big help for the run-in.”

Before the winter break, Leeds United winger Jack Harrison said: “We’ve been really unfortunate this season with injuries and one thing and another, but it can only help with that mental strength and the fortitude, coming to a crucial part of the season where we need as many points as we can get.

“If we work the way we know we can, we know the methodology works, so getting everyone back will definitely help and hopefully we can get some points.”