Leeds United are entering a crucial period, not just in this season but in their history. The disappointing defeat to QPR on Saturday has only reinforced the feeling that Leeds United have two main issues; no quality in depth in the squad and a lack of criticalness in front of goal. Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani now have just two weeks to bring in the resources Marcelo Bielsa requires to save Leeds United’s season and to save their project. Failure to do so could be catastrophic with Marcelo Bielsa gone, loan players such as Ben White and Jack Harrison returning to their parent clubs and a £15 million bill for Helder Costa to be paid. Faced with the task of rebuilding both coaching and playing staff at the club crown jewels such as Kalvin Phillips may have to be sold to foot the bill.
The size of the playing squad at Leeds United has been an issue over the last 18 months, with just 16 first team regulars there is no much leeway for injuries and suspension, especially with Jack Clarke and Eddie Nketiah recalled from their loans due to lack of playing time. Leeds have got away with it for much of the season, Gaetano Berardi and Stuart Dallas have covered magnificently but there is only so far you can push the squad. Injuries to Pablo Hernandez and Tyler Roberts have dampened our creativity, but perhaps more concerning is the long-term absence to Adam Forshaw now combines with an impending three match ban for Kalvin Phillips.
Stuart Dallas has been brilliant at covering multiple positions this season but a defensive midfielder he is not and the Ben White experiment failed. So what are our options? Leeds have a pool of extremely talented young players but Bielsa has failed to turn to them on a regular basis so far this season. Jamie Shackleton, Robbie Gotts and Jordan Stevens have less than ten appearances between them this season. They have potential and talent, no doubt. But does Bielsa trust them enough to play a major part in the promotion battle or will he return to the favoured Berardi and Dallas? Square pegs in round holes, but Bielsa has his favourites.
Leeds United’s biggest issue though is their conversion rate, it’s been the same all season and it was the same old story on Saturday. As a team we have created the most chances, had the most shots, but have the worst conversation rate. Even when we get a free go from the penalty spot we struggle to score. Bamford leads our line, he has had more shots than any other player in the Championship, his conversion rate is just 12%. He has missed the most big chances of any of the strikers in the Championship. A team in our position should not have to rely on one striker, especially one who does not convert his chances. We need to bring in a proven goal scorer if we want to get promoted.
Names have been mentioned; Che Adams, Billy Sharp, Dwight Gayle, Jarrod Bowen, Andre Gray, the list goes on but no deals have been done. Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani now have just thirteen days to bring in the proven goal scorer Leeds United need to save their season.