As with any club, January is a crucial time for Leeds United. We simply have to look to bolster our squad in key areas to improve our chances of securing a long-awaited return to the promised land (sic) of Premier League. With things so tight at the top at the moment, this window could be absolutely crucial for us and our rivals.
As things stand, we are 7th and just goal difference keeps us out of the play-off positions. In fact, we aren`t totally out of the race for 2nd either at just 9 points off Derby County. It`s their position to lose obviously but with the right dealings this January, surely we can put ourselves in with a shout?
Thomas Christiansen has impressed many at Elland Road following the huge blow losing Garry Monk to Championship rivals Middlesbrough, but the biggest test may come in the January transfer market.
If Leeds are to be successful this season and make a return to the land of milk and honey, after ten long years waiting, then new signings are required – and an injection of Premier League quality would not go amiss.
So who could we target?
27-year-old Dwight Gayle was electric in the Championship last season and helped Newcastle United secure an immediate return to the Premier League. However, he`s failed to find the same consistency in the top-flight and the Magpies may well consider a sale.
Leeds desperately need to bolster their forward ranks in the January market and Newcastle have transfers of their own to consider, though Rafael Benitez is restricted by the club`s finances- and a sale of Gayle would provide a huge boost.
Gayle has long been linked with a return to the Championship, most recently with Fulham, but Leeds cannot let this deal pass them by if an opportunity were to surface- as he`d provide a huge boost.
Highly-rated Forest Green starlet Jordan Stevens has caught the eye with his performances in League Two this season and a number of clubs, including Leeds, are interested in the 17-year-old`s services.
Leeds would have to fend off interest from Premier League sides to secure the teenager but doing so, just like Preston did with the capture of Connor Simpson from Hartlepool United, would make a huge statement of intent of where the Yorkshire giants want to be competing.
Thomas Christiansen`s side would certainly be able to offer more realistic first-team opportunities to the young midfielder, though he`d have to work his way into the squad. With his quality and potential though, it could end up being a long-term success story for Newcastle.
After a successful period on-loan with Leeds, the Championship side were disappointed not to secure the services of the former Arsenal defender on a permanent basis as Swansea City were reportedly demanding around £7.5m for his signature.
However, with Swansea threatened with relegation and looking to rejuvenate their ranks this month, the Welsh side may now consider a sale of Bartley for a lesser fee- and his presence in defence would bolster Leeds` position.
With plenty of experience, Bartley has the quality to lead Leeds back to the promiseland of the Premier League and the influence he would have over the younger players within the squad would certainly be significant.
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