The Yorkshire derby against Sheffield Wendies has almost been relegated to the inside pages today, with the real headlines being made up of fevered late-window transfer speculation surrounding our very own Leeds United. It could simply be a case of adding two plus two and ending up with well over six million – but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that United could yet add as many as FOUR more major players to what is presently, by common consent, a talented but sketchily thin squad.
Of course, in the nature of these things – and with the transfer window being a two-way street – even if we do see four high-profile additions, we might also be bidding a few farewells of varying fondness. The least palatable of these could yet involve full-back turned winger-of-sorts Sam Byram. This blog is on record as stating that it could stomach the loss of Sam, if the club’s hand is forced by the approaching termination of his deal, if the price would be right and if quality recruits were to arrive on the back of such a sale. So, although it would be sad to lose a talent like Byram, we could hardly bitch about it at Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything Towers.
Any other departures would most likely be the more peripheral of our fringe players, and most likely we would all have our own ideas of those most likely to be deemed superfluous to Herr Rösler’s plans.
So, who might yet arrive? The most exciting news of the day is that United have apparently agreed a deal with Watford for Fernando Forestieri, the type of tricky customer who could provide the longed-for link between midfield and attack. This deal is said to have reached the point where it’s down to club and player to agree personal terms, so it must be rated 9/10 on the scale of likelihood.
Another name being mentioned today is that of speedy NEC Nijmegen winger Anthony Limbombe – of whom his current club have intriguingly said that he’s had his head turned by interest from Elland Road, to the point where it was felt unwise to include him in the team to play Ajax. There’s no smoke without fire – at least 7/10 for this one.
And still, with these two attacking players thought to be likely recruits, Leeds fans are greedily eyeing further possibilities. Central defender Liam Moore of Leicester City didn’t look the most composed performer for England U-21s this summer – then again, you’re no mug to get as far as pulling that shirt on. With the difficulty Leeds are having forming a secure-looking defence, Moore’s name is still out there, probably as a loan with a view to buy. 5/10 here.
And, lastly but definitely not leastly, our old friend Joey Barton is still without a club, having recently been spurned by West Ham. The Hammers might just be having second thoughts now, having had the hubris arising out of a win at Arsenal dispersed by two home defeats since. But an unattached Joey is still a fascinating prospect for a sleeping giant of Leeds United proportions – though you suspect that, if it was going to happen, it’d probably have been done and dusted by now. Still – 4.5/10.
What does seem certain is that, after we were told a couple of weeks ago that our transfer business was all but done, there still seems to be a fair chance that the last week or so of this window could be a very interesting time for Leeds United fans.
Watch this space…