Leeds United supporters in the Transfer Tavern are certainly looking forward to the second half of the season, what with their side firmly in contention for a play-off spot in the Championship come the end of the campaign.
Thomas Christiansen took over as head coach during the summer following the resignation of Garry Monk, and the 44-year-old has done a fine job keeping the Yorkshire giants in and around the division’s top six places, and thus with a shot of returning to the Premier League for the first time since 2004. Yet some disappointing results against Ipswich Town and Millwall in recent weeks has highlighted that reinforcements may be needed in the latter stages of the transfer window to secure a play-off position, given they have slipped to tenth and three points adrift of the top six following recent games.
Nonetheless, there is a sense of optimism among our resident Whites fans that this could be the season they finally return to the top-flight, although some feel that further signings are needed for that to happen.
And many of those Leeds fans lining up at the bar have taken a great interest in Southampton’s recent move to bring Guido Carrillo to St Mary’s, as it could well open the door for Christiansen’s men to go after fellow Saints striker Shane Long.
Ultimately, Leeds will not want a repeat of last season, in which they looked for all the world that they were going to secure a top six place, only for a woeful run of just five wins from their last 17 matches seeing them slip out of contention and eventually finish in seventh.
And with games set to come thick and fast in the second half of the campaign, Christiansen will surely desire as many options as possible to rotate his squad and keep them fresh for the run-in, and as such Long is one they must bring to Elland Road.
The 31-year-old has struggled for regular gametime at St Mary’s in recent years, and Carrillo’s arrival for little over £19 million is surely going to restrict the Irishman even further, especially with Manolo Gabbiadini and Charlie Austin still at the football club.
But the former Reading striker has huge pedigree at Championship level, having scored 39 goals and laid on 20 assists in 123 games at second tier level, while his all round game would cause problems for many a Championship backline.
Long is tenacious and will chase down every lost cause, while he also brings genuine quality on the ball and can hold the ball up, bringing into play the likes of Pablo Hernandez and Samu Saiz to weave their magic.
Be it off the bench in the last 20 minutes against a tiring backline, or as the main man ahead of Kemar Roofe, Pierre-Michel Lasogga, and Caleb Ekuban, Long could prove to be a seriously shrewd addition to Christiansen’s squad for the second half of the campaign.
And Carrillo’s recent arrival at Southampton can only enhance their chances of landing the £7.2 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt), in a move they must seek to make in the final few days of the transfer window.
Leeds fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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