Leeds United are in the market for a Championship side duo, according to reports. The Sunday Mirror claims that the Whites are interested in signing Wolves defensive duo Danny Batth and Matt Doherty, with Leeds coach Thomas Christiansen set to make a £4.5m bid for the players.
So far a one club man his entire career, Danny Batth is a product of the Wolves academy, where he joined at age 15. After being one of seven to sign a professional deal at the end of the ’08/’09 season, Batth was sent out on loan to League One Colchester, where he got his first taste of first-team football. After his loan season with the U’s, Batth was named Young Professional of the Year. He would make his competitive debut for Wolves in August of the following season. Batth was sent out on loan to Sheffield United, where he made just one appearance before being recalled to Wolves’ Premier League side for a stretch of games. He would go out on loan again in March, joining Sheffield Wednesday. He impressed the Owls during his short stint with the club and was loaned out again to them the following season, this time for a whole year. He had a great season away with the club, playing a big part in the Owls promotion from League One. He was so important that he almost won the Owls Player of the Season award as a loanee. In 2014 he signed a three-year deal with Wolves and was also named to the PFA League One Team of the Year. The centre-back has been part of the first team consistently since that season.
Matt Doherty was spotted by Wolves while playing for Irish club Bohemians in 2010. After a trial with Wolves, the two sides agreed to a £75,000 fee despite Doherty not playing a game for the Bohs. After making his Premier League debut with the club in September 2011, Doherty was loaned to Scottish club Hibernian in January until the end of the season. He would go out on loan once more the following season, joining Bury on a three-month deal in 2012. The 25-year-old right back hasn’t made a senior appearance for the country of Ireland, but he has been capped at the u19 and u21 level.
While depth is cool, I don’t think Leeds need either of these two players. With Doherty, there's absolutely no need for him. Luke Ayling was a star at right-back last season, and even though Gaetano Berardi played a lot of games at on the left side of the defense, he’s a true right-back. Vernon Anita is also capable of playing fullback, so I struggle to see how Doherty will find time in this team.
Of the two, Danny Batth would make more sense. Behind Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper, Batth would cleary be the best option over the Giuseppe Bellusci and centre-back experiment Toumani Diagouraga. But is Batth the right option as a backup? Batth’s season last year saw its ups and downs, as Wolves flirted with relegation before ultimately finishing mid-table. Signing a defender who played on a team that finished 8 spots lower than us and conceded 11 more goals than we did is…interesting. If he struggled at Wolves, how would he do at Leeds?