Relaxed Transfer Deadline Day

02 Feb 2015 10:27 pm, by YorkshireSquare

And so transfer deadline day is nearing an end, the day when Sky Sports News turns all yellow, football reporters are dispatched to car parks of training grounds all over the country, Harry Redknapp will only talk to people through a car window and Leeds United implode, at least that’s what we did this time last year.

Firstly Ross McCormack appeared on Sky Sports News to pledge his future to Leeds United, saying he that he looked “…forward to continue playing at the club under Brian McDermott for the rest of the season” only for news to break moments later that McDermott had been sacked. Possibly the most dramatic transfer deadline day ever for Leeds United, and for all the wrong reasons.

Then came this summer, when the club told us via the official Twitter account not to go to bed yet as there was still work to be done. Fans awaited news of more signings such as Leonardo Pavoletti only for the club to announce the sale of Matt Smith and Dom Poleon before announcing that they were done for the evening. Cue fury from fans. This deadline day has been far quieter, and all the better for it. At 5/1 for relegation with the online bookies,, there was a feeling Leeds needed to strengthen and this window most of the work was done early on.

It wouldn’t be a transfer window without Leeds selling a captain and this time we dispensed with two. First Stephen Warnock completed a move to Derby. It would be fair to say that Warnock has been one of our most consistent performers this season and his move will have come as a surprise to many. He has incurred the wrath of Cellino this season already though and as one of the older, higher earning players in the squad with a contract nearing its end perhaps it’s was a good bit of business. The major positive is of course the emergence of Charlie Taylor. We’ve always known of his talent but at 21 it is time for him to step up and prove himself and he has certainly done that since Warnock’s departure.

Next to depart was Jason Pearce, a more committed footballer it will be hard to find. Pearce was a hard worker and put his head where it hurt, literally, but he was not the most talented of players. His panicked slices and half clearances will not be missed, but his attitude in the white shirt cannot be questioned. He moves to Wigan, a ‘rival’ in the battle to stay in the Championship whilst another player Michael Tonge departs for another team below us in the table, Millwall. Tonge has probably been most useful recently deputising as Neil Redfearn’s assistant with his opportunities on the pitch having been limited. There is no doubt there are younger and more talented midfielders at the club.

Coming in the other way were defensive midfielder Granddi Ngoyi and defender Sol Bamba. Ngoyi signs on loan from Serie A side Palermo. He featured 20 times in last season’s promotion from Serie B but has had limited opportunities this season and arrives carrying an injury. He certainly fills a need for a more defensive midfielder but at 26 he has yet to cement himself in any side and it remains to be seen what he will bring to the team. Bamba on the other hand brings a wealth of experience in British football with spells at Dunfermline, Hibernian and Leicester City. With the departure of Pearce and the volatility of Giuseppe Bellusci the defence certainly needed strengthening and Bamba does that. He even made it into the Football League Team of the Week after his debut performance against Huddersfield.

Deadline day saw yet another striker joining with Edgar Cani joining on loan from Serie B Catania. The six foot five Albanian will take the number 10 shirt and with many fans having wanted Luciano Becchio to re-sign he will have big shoes to fill. It would be fair to say that Cani is not the most prolific of strikers; 3 goals in 15 appearances this season for Catania and 5 goals in 31 appearances last season for Bari and Carpi and Leeds fans will question the need for another striker who doesn’t score many goal, especially one with such a chequered history. He is a typical target man though and may prove to be a good alternative to Steve Morison as lone striker in the current system.

Bamba will certainly be the standout signing of the window and has already proved his worth during his debut. The others will have to prove themselves though, yet more players with no English football experience and limited football this year but I remain open minded and hopefully they will make a big impact during the run in. In terms of the outs I’m not upset, we have better defenders at the club than Pearce and Tonge was never going to feature much. Warnock was the more controversial move but with Taylor playing well and Berardi we should be covered.

Perhaps the most important thing was to keep Austin despite the rumours of his deprture, at least until the end of the season. He had a woeful start to the season and can be extremely average at times but he has been central to our revival in recent weeks. He has been a big part of the momentum both psychologically and physically and to have sold him this window would have been short sighted and undermined everything Redfearn is trying to do. All in all an ok transfer window, especially given we were under a transfer embargo. Our better players have remained at the club and we have strengthened in at least one key area.

Now please Massimo, don’t ruin it all in the last half hour by selling Mowatt and Cook!!