Opinions vary as to exactly what kind of surgery is needed on this Leeds United squad. Football managers, pundits and supporters will always differ on such thorny issues; it’s debates like these which add a lot of interest to football, outside of the actual 90 or so minutes of play. On behalf of Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything, and with only hours of the transfer window remaining, all I can do is offer my own humble take on the matter.
By common consent, someone is needed up front to share the goal-scoring burden with the likes of Wood, Doukara and Antenucci. The most likely candidate for this role could be Fraizer Campbell, a striker who has already been around a bit at the age of 28, and whose star has fallen somewhat since a highly promising start to his career. That decline, though, has largely coincided with Campbell’s efforts to perform in the Premier League – his displays at Championship level have been much more fruitful, with a goals return bordering on the prolific. He’s also the kind of sinuous player who could complement the more agricultural approach of Wood, for instance. He would certainly be an asset up front for Leeds, adding something we just don’t have to our current options. It’s rumoured that Leeds have already approached his club, Crystal Palace with a loan deal for Campbell the objective.
While many feel that there are also problems in central defence as well as a vacancy for a “number 10” type of creative attacker, I would say that a higher priority is to provide a more reliable winger to balance out the contribution of Stuart Dallas. Young Belgian wide man Anthony Limbombe of NEC in the Dutch Eredivisie was a United target in the summer, and is now significantly nearer the end of his deal at NEC – and unsettled to boot. A move for this lad could paper over the cracks of Jordan Boutaka‘s less than successful spell at Elland Road; Limbombe’s pedigree appears, on the face of it, to be higher-class.
The Leeds defence will steady, I feel, once Sol Bamba shakes off his current poor form – and with the added protection now offered by the likes of Toumani Diagouraga in front of the back line. With the addition of Campbell and/or Limbombe, the attacking options should allow for enough juggling to allow for added creativity and a better scoring record over the remainder of the season.
Failing these moves, or some equivalent transfer activity – and our continued involvement in the FA Cup notwithstanding – I feel this season will taper off into another disappointingly mediocre campaign. But the addition of new blood could spark a late-season surge that might at least keep things interesting.
As ever, I would welcome the views of readers on a matter where any fan will have a heartfelt opinion.