The January window is fast approaching and as we know it’s crucial that we get it right. We didn’t last season and ended up falling short, the season before we probably had the chance to push and we failed to strengthen and this year we are in good shape on and off the field, but there is no doubt some will need to head out, and we need some new faces through the door.
Who Is Likely To Leave?
Mateusz Klich – The Polish midfielder hasn’t had his chance in a Leeds shirt since arriving from FC Twente. He did play a few games, and started one league game. The league game was away at Cardiff and a costly slip led to the opening goal, however…a slip is exactly that, it isn’t a mistake or bad judgement and he was dropped afterwards, and those who replaced him didn’t do any better, a 3-0 defeat at Wednesday then defeat after defeat followed. Ronaldo Vieira has re-emerged and that reduces his chances even more but the social media issue could well be the nail in the coffin for his Leeds career.
I actually believe he is a very good footballer and well suited physically to the English game but Thomas Christiansen just doesn’t fancy him. That’s the head-coaches call and with us sat in 5th place and in good form the argument to play Klich certainly isn’t at its strongest. I do think we lack in that area which does make it frustrating that he will almost certainly be leaving the club but we will have to replace him with someone who Christiansen will play. The arrival of Japanese midfielder Ideguchi is irrelevant because he can’t play until at least next season. Conor Shaughnessy and Vurnon Anita can both play in the middle but neither are what we need, we need someone who will push forward.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – This situation is extremely disappointing. Something is clearly wrong off the pitch here because in terms of natural ability Borthwick-Jackson is a very talented footballer. He was brought in to be the left-back and he started the early League Cup game before playing in the home game against Preston North End. He was my, and many other people’s man of the match on that day but for some reason that we will never know he was then dropped and has only featured in League Cup games since that day. He did make the bench away at Queens Park Rangers but that was more due to an injury crisis than him forcing his way back into the plans.
Jose Mourinho and Manchester United rate him highly but they will almost certainly been asking the question about the point in him being at Leeds United, and I think we all expect him to return across the Pennines in January. His attitude was questioned last season when he was loaned out to Wolves and the fans there weren’t happy with what they saw from the young full-back. Perhaps that same issue with attitude is what has turned a very promising situation into one that has now become a lost cause. Such a shame because he has so much ability, but there is no point keeping him if we have no intention of using him.
Hadi Sacko – I am going to defend Hadi Sacko here because I still believe he can be an asset at the football club. He is arguably the most frustrating player around when you look at the squad but I feel that’s magnified because of his natural ability. I remember him playing away at Sheffield Wednesday last season and him destroying the full-back Daniel Pudil time and time again. So many times he has got around defenders and failed on the final ball, the last part can be improved but it needs to be done with hard work on the training ground and game time so he can really build his confidence.
I wouldn’t sell Sacko but I don’t think a loan would do the French winger any harm at all. His natural pace and physical attributes are as good as any other player in the side but we need him to improve drastically on the ball. A loan to a lower Championship club or even to a League One club could do him the world of good. Loaning to a League One side can go one of two ways, the way of Marcus Antonsson and Lewie Coyle who are both having very productive seasons or the way of Jordan Botaka who didn’t kick on and ended up struggling to get into the Charlton side before being released by the club after his second season.
Jay-Roy Grot – This is a situation where I don’t know what would be best. He has had a tough start to life at Leeds and I think many things have played a part in making that happen. He isn’t fit, he isn’t putting in the effort when he does come in and he isn’t getting the time to adapt. Personally I haven’t seen one thing that makes me think he is good enough yet which wasn’t the case with Pierre-Michel Lasogga or Pawel Cibicki who both came into the side after the season had started. Why he isn’t playing for the under 23’s is beyond me. Is it bets for him to stay at the club and play development football or head out on loan?