Marcelo Bielsa’s personal desire to keep his squad small and tightly-knit prevented Leeds United from welcoming a huge number of new players during the summer window, and it seems that he is set to maintain that stance during the January window.
Leeds United’s torrid problems with injury so far this season would hint at a potential mid-season spree when the window re-opens for business, but the manner in which they have coped with a multitude of high-profile absentees suggests that they are well prepared for a promotion push.
Indeed, Leeds have managed to grind out results during a period of time in which the likes of Patrick Bamford, Barry Douglas, Pablo Hernandez and Kemar Roofe have all been sidelined through injury.
Perhaps the most pivotal aspect of Leeds’ season will actually concern who they are able to convince to stay at the club, rather than who they bring in.
And according to Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Phil Hay, Andrea Radrizzani and the rest of the club’s hierarchy are likely to focus on sealing new contract agreements with current players before delving into the market for new talent.
‘When January arrives, these pockets of contract negotiations (Roofe, Peacock-Farrell, Saiz) might occupy the club more than the transfer market itself.’
Given Bielsa’s strict feeling on squad size and the marked improvement of the three players in question, particularly Roofe and Peacock-Farrell, it’s no surprise that Leeds are looking to consolidate their promotion charge by handing out morale-boosting contract extensions to key players, rather than risking the harmonious squad dynamic by introducing new faces to Elland Road.
Roofe’s contract is the one which Leeds supporters and everybody involved with the club are willing to be extended the most, and Hay has cited his future as the one which the club are most eager to secure: ‘Kemar Roofe heads the list of priorities at Elland Road.’
If Leeds are able to tie Roofe down to a new contract before the January window, it will be massive for the club’s ambitions of finishing inside the top-two this season, as failure to do so will naturally evoke unsettling speculation concerning a potential mid-season switch to a Premier League outfit.
With that in mind, it’s absolutely imperative that Leeds waste no time in matching Roofe’s demands with a lucrative new deal in the coming weeks. After all, it’s the least he deserves following his electric start to the season.
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