Leeds United could be forced to tap into the loan market in January to find new midfielders to help Marcelo Bielsa get through the current injury crisis.
The Whites may be showing amazing resilience right now as they face one of the toughest Premier League races imaginable, but it’s clear they could do with signings in January.
Most of the time, the midfielder currently looks very light after the injury to Kalvin Phillips.
The club’s finances might not extend to a permanent marquee signing to significantly improve the first team, so a loaned Premier League player could be the way to go.
Here we examine three players the club could target on loan in January…
The first player who we think could be a viable option is Chelsea’s Ross Barkley, a player who has spent time at Elland Road in the past.
Barkley fell out of favor under Thomas Tuchel, and it took a handful of midfield injuries for him to even take a peek.
The Daily Mail recently linked the Whites with a move for the 28-year-old, who appears increasingly likely to exit Stamford Bridge as his opportunities remain unprecedented.
There could be concerns about how he fits right into the squad thanks to his lack of regular playing time, but we’ve described here why he could be a decent signing based on his time at Aston Villa last season.
A more speculative name here on the list that might not fall too low at Dele Alli.
The 25-year-old is another who has not benefited since his club signed a new manager, with reports claiming Antonio Conte has made the decision he is free to leave in January.
Alli is someone who has a history of annual “recovery” on the cards when given another opportunity to relaunch his career as a latecomer, and January is the latest.
He’s not going to get back in shape at Spurs, this ship has surely sailed.
Alli’s overall numbers at Spurs are good from a goalscoring and creativity perspective, and he’s statistically one of the best pressers in Europe when it comes to players in a similar position, he just needs to come back to that level.
The doubts are obviously about his attitude and if he would last five minutes in killball, but his talent is enough to take us away from the relegation zone alone.
The last name on the list is another with exceptional flair not in use at his current club, at Jesse Lingard.
The Manchester United midfielder showed last season for West Ham that he has what it takes to shine in the Premier League, but we don’t see him.
Lingard is a free agent this summer and will be weighing his options ahead of the new year, and would be a perfect addition to Leeds with what we know he can do in a harder working squad like David Moyes’ West Ham.
It would be a tough deal to make with the Hammers surely interested in signing him, but we do know Bielsa would be able to get a tune from someone of Lingard’s ability.
A goal scoring prowess like that is something we’re certainly worth examining.