Scott Malone made the move from London and Fulham to Huddersfield this past summer transfer window, only to find first team opportunities almost non-existent at the other West Yorkshire club. After only appearing four times for Huddersfield, could Leeds United look to grab the left-back on loan as a stop-gap solution to the problem at left back?
Reports indicate that Leeds United could be interested in grabbing Malone in a loan deal during the January transfer window. Malone is an experienced Championship player, having made over 150 appearances in the English second division with Fulham, Cardiff City and Millwall. And while he’s been brought in as cover for Premier League newbies Huddersfield Town, he might be unhappy after only appearing twice, and starting none, in the Premier League this season.
Leeds lost their left-back over the summer, with Charlie Taylor refusing a new contract and signing with Burnley after a transfer fee had been agreed upon by the two clubs. Taylor had been a mainstay at left-back for Leeds the past few years, but he forced a move away from the club after contract shenanigans with the previous ownership group, something that was all too common.
And while Gaetano Berardi can fill in a left-back, as can Vurnon Anita, neither are natural left-backs and both look more comfortable at right back. Additionally, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was supposed to challenge for the starting spot, but the Manchester United has been frozen out of the first team and may not be good enough to play at left back in the Championship right now.
So could this loan deal happen? Maybe, but it’s a little doubtful. The “reports” don’t look like anything more than speculation at this point, and while Leeds have a need, there is almost no reason for Huddersfield to make a deal. Malone was brought in as cover, and with the wage structure in the Premier League, he’s probably better off sitting on the bench than going out on loan. And even if he was going to go out on loan, there is no reason for Huddersfield to loan him to local rivals, even if Leeds allowed Rob Green to go the other direction this past August.
If Malone comes, he’d be better than any other option that the club has at left-back right now, but he’s a stop-gap solution. Victor Orta could easily attempt to bring in a younger, more talented player on a smaller contract in January rather than rely on expensive retreads from other teams. So while left-back could be addressed in January, this deal seems a little unlikely.