We topped Villa. We’re fourth in the league. But the end of the season is a long way away, and as we talked about last week, Leeds United is going to need to strengthen in the January Transfer Window. In Part One, I focused on the attack, giving a few potential options for Massimo Cellino (or Andrea Radrizzani) and head coach Garry Monk to pursue in the window. Today: the defence.
The beloved Bartsson duo (Pontus Jansson and Kyle Bartley) have become the spine of the side this season and I hope more than anything else we sign them permanently as soon as possible. But even if we do (and God help us if we don’t), we still lack enough central defensive cover. With only Liam Cooper as a recognised centre half outside of the Bartsson cohort, Monk needs to look at other options just in case the worst happens and either Bartley or Jansson go down.
So who are the best available defenders to help us stay in the top 6?
Let’s take a look at a few options. This list is by no means exhaustive, so if you have some other ideas, please let us know in the comments below.
The Irish centre back moved from Stoke City to Bournemouth FC in the summer for an undisclosed fee. However, Wilson has failed to make an impact at Dean’s Court and thus has only made sporadic appearances in the EFL Cup for Bournemouth.
And surely he’d have enough respect for Garry Monk to avoid the mistakes he made at Stoke.
Wilson’s defensive ability would add the extra cover we need at Elland Road and his experience at the top level with Stoke will give him the edge over strikers within the division who haven’t played in the top tier in their career. He’d be a good addition.
Southampton are renowned for producing great British talent; add Jack Stephens to that list. Originally signed from Plymouth, the 22-year-old centre back has had successful loan spells at Swindon and Coventry City.
Southampton may think the increase in pressure and challenge at Leeds may benefit Stephens if Leeds were interested in a loan deal. The only issue may be Jack’s youth; the Championship is a physical league and I am not quite sure if he would be able to cope.
Still... worth a shot.
The name Cameron Carter-Vickers maybe not well known to our English fans. But within our American contingency, Carter-Vickers may be part of the future of the USA football (soccer) team. The son of former basketball player Howard “Hi-C” Carter, CCV has earned himself a place within the national squad for the World Cup qualifiers after a string of decent performances in the EFL Cup for Tottenham.
He was also nominated for the USSF Young Player of the Year award just yesterday.
This star of the future could be what’s needed to make our cluster at the back whole. However, like Stephens, Cameron’s lack of substantial game time within English football might become a stumbling block for any deal to be made between Leeds and Spurs... and Tottenham likely won’t want to let him go.
Even if that’s just a dream, he’d be a valuable addition to the back line, and he’d make our American Leeds fans very, very happy.
The rules have changed this season, and you can only sign players inside the window. Therefore, the transfer window has never been more important to Leeds. The transfers we make in January will likely define our season, and if Garry Monk can replicate his savvy business deals that he did in the summer, we will definitely be in the play-off positions... and then, ultimately, hopefully... back in the Premier League. MOT