Good Morning. It's Thursday 24th November, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Are radical changes necessary for Leeds to climb the table
With the emergence of young talent at Elland Road, it has been suggested that some of the old guard are starting to fall down the pecking order. Whilst faithful servants to the club, there comes a time when age catches up on the best of us. There have been few complaints regarding the Summer signings, but with Leeds hovering dangerously close to the drop zone, is it time to look at replacing the old guard?
Cooper (31), Bamford (29), Ayling (31), Klich (32), Dallas (31), Forshaw (31) and Rodrigo (31) are costing Leeds over a million pounds a month in salaries, with only Rodrigo showing the kind of form to justify his pay check. Are radical changes necessary for the club to move to the next level, or does experience go a long way in the top flight?
Orta eyes Nigerian International
Victor Orta has been alerted that Nigerian International defender Ola Aina may be available during the January transfer window. The versatile full back (who can play on either flank or indeed midfield) tops Torino's 'Whoscored' chart with a modest 6.74 rating. So far this season, the 26 year old has amassed 582 minutes of game time from seven starts and three substitute appearance.
Born in London, Aina came through Chelsea's youth ranks, and represented the young Lions all the way up to U20 level, when he switched allegiance to Nigeria. He joined Torino in 2019, but was shipped out on loan to Fulham the following year (20-21), during which they were relegated. Aina's contract expires next Summer, and having refused a new two year could be shipped out in January for a minimal fee.
Dallas comeback in sight
Seven months on from fracturing his femur, Start Dallas' comeback has been pencilled in. The 31 year old has been working closely with the physio's at Thorp Arch, rebuilding both his fitness and the strength in his leg following lengthy surgery back in May. The horrific injury could have put pay to his footballing career, but the Northern Ireland International is made of sterner stuff. Miraculously, he returned to the training ground back in August, and continuous to make fantastic progress, so much so, that a return to action could be expected towards the end of the year / beginning of January. During a recent Interview, Marsch was quoted as saying...
Stuart's making great progress as well and we'll see how that goes. But maybe we can get him on the pitch at some point towards the end of December, early January.
How will Dallas's comeback effect the dynamics at ER
With Stuart Dallas' comeback in sight, how will this effect the dynamics at Elland Road? What happens to Junior Firpo? Does he get pushed further down the pecking order, or should Leeds look to offload him in the New Year? What about Struijk? He's done a sterling job at left back. If, and when Dallas returns to full fitness, does Struijk get dropped, or will he replace one of the centre backs? Should Dallas' return to action effect the search for a new younger fitter model, at least until next Summer?