In what has been a trying period for Leeds United fans all around the country, the winter has not been one to remember. Various poor performances and a growing injury list has left Leeds fans worried about the future. A shocking run of form culminated in a 7-0 mauling by Manchester City, with numerous players accused of hiding in the beating they received at the Etihad Stadium.
With so many injuries and such poor form, many teams look to the winter transfer window to adjust and improve. Leeds, though, have a unique coach in Marcelo Bielsa. Part of his unicitiy is his desire to run with a smaller squad, and this has led to little optimism that the Whites can bring in the depth they need to turn things around. Indeed, many fans have been worried that they are looking at the problem getting worse before it gets better.
With a reputation for simply not running with large squads, Bielsa has become somewhat misrepresented on the topic. At a press conference ahead of the clutch game with Arsenal this weekend, Bielsa bit back at the idea that he does want to see any signings arrive in January.
What did Marcelo Bielsa say about the transfer window?
Since arriving at Leeds, it has been made clear that Bielsa is not someone who wants to have lots of players on the side-lines. The intensity of his tactical approach paired with his desire to always do things the right way in terms of coaching means that he likes to have a smaller team. The work needed to grasp his system involves a huge amount of effort, and needs buy-in from players.
When you have 5-10 players not getting off the bench or sitting in the stands, though, buy-in becomes much tougher to achieve. With that in mind, then, many assumed that no signings would arrive in January.
When asked about this before the Gunners game, though, Bielsa provided much-needed clarity for Leeds fans, saying: “I never said I don’t want players to come in January, as you guys informed I am opposed to it,” he bit back.
“The only thing I said and I reiterate is that to bring in players they should be better than the ones we already have. The club has invested £130m in this squad; I don’t know if they can or can’t invest more. But I’m not in conditions to demand incorporations when the organisation has been so responsible.
“That type of information [if Leeds are looking at and negotiating with targets] we only give if we are going to sign a player. What I don’t have any doubts about is that the club will do the maximum they can to resolve the needs.”
For fans who were worried this would be another empty window, then, these quotes can give some peace of mind. Expect Leeds to be busy, albeit not bringing in a whole new squad – especially with some injuries clearing up, and some academy talent being given the chance to play.