Marcelo Bielsa is determined to make improvements with Leeds United as the Premier League 2020-21 season continues

Premier League: Defence Should be Leeds United’s Calling Card

A new year means a new opportunity for the Whites as they continue their ongoing campaign in the Premier League.

As of this moment, Leeds United are 12th in the Premier League table after gathering 23 points in their first 17 fixtures, and that’s not bad considering this is their first season back in top-flight in over 16 years.

But knowing Marcelo Bielsa, of course he wants his boys to do more.

Either way, the Whites’ phones will keep on ringing since they have targeted possible reinforcements and it will be interesting to see how their team will shape up by the end of this month.

With the transfer window already up and running, this period offers a perfect chance for Marcelo Bielsa and co. to make improvements on their roster that can make an impact either for the short or long-term.

Today at SBOTOP, let us review Leeds United’s run so far this season along with their rumoured moves in this January transfer window. 

 

 

Can the Whites stay afloat?

Given how unpredictable the Premier League is by nature, Leeds United cannot afford to have any slip-ups at any point this season.

Although they are 12 points clear from the drop zone, it can be noted that the Whites had bouts with inconsistency this season. And a huge part of their shortcomings come from the defencive end of the pitch.

Former Aston Villa and Scotland defender Alan Hutton agrees that their defence should be a point of emphasis if they are to boost their Premier League 2021 odds.

“I’d be more worried about my backline than these forward-thinking players that they are targeting in the transfer window,” said Hutton in an interview with Football Insider.

“They’re conceding a lot of goals, a lot of goals from corner kicks. I would want to shore up the defence first because you can play the best football and you can attack, attack, attack. But if you’re conceding that many goals, you’ll end up going down,” he added.

“That’s the way the Premier League is.”

Leeds United have already identified several target players in this transfer window, but will they help address their deficiencies?

 

Who are they eyeing in the transfer window?

Like most teams, Leeds United are eager to improve their team via the transfer window and they have already a few players in mind.

One of them is Jean-Philippe Mateta who leads Mainz in scoring with 10 goals in 16 matches this term.

The Frenchman offers a towering presence out front since he stands at 6-foot-3 and he is only 23 years old, so he can be a seamless fit to Bielsa’s system that has a big tendency to flood the box with crosses.

Patrick Bamford is the undisputed first option for Leeds United in their Premier League campaign

Patrick Bamford celebrates scoring Leeds United’s first goal against Burnley at Elland Road

In addition to Mateta, the Whites also expressed interest in getting Wolves winger Adama Traore and the young Michael Olise.

Adama Traore is a pacy and intelligent player capable of producing numerous Premier League 2021 highlights and he can provide competition for Rodrigo Moreno and Rafinha in the wings.

Michael Olise, meanwhile, is a budding young star playing for Reading in the Championship this term. 

Leeds United play a heavy-possession game in most of their Premier League fixtures this season, but they have a low conversion rate of their chances despite bagging 30 goals so far.

Patrick Bamford obviously is the undisputed first option out front for the Whites. However, getting significant support would surely profit this team in the long run.

 

Leeds United need additional backline depth

Marcelo Bielsa’s brand of attacking football at Elland Road has received many plaudits, but he has also endured a wave of criticism due to his club’s subpar backline.

Leeds United are currently the second-worst in the league in terms of goal conceded, having given up 33 goals in their 17 games so far.

The defencive trio of Liam Cooper, Robin Koch, and Diego Llorente are all nursing injuries, and their absences were felt during their brutal loss against Tottenham in the last time out.

Luke Ayling and Pascal Struijk were moved to central defence out of necessity, while Ezgjan Alioski and Stuart Dallas have been trying their best at the full-back positions.

The Whites are keen on strengthening the defencive midfield as they have been eyeing some promising prospects.

Calcio Mercato reported that Bielsa is keeping tabs with Croatian youngsters Lovro Majer and Josko Gvardiol, but there is no imminent deal yet.

Moreover, the Whites are also targeting to bring over Kouadio Kone from Toulouse and Erick Pulgar from Fiorentina.

 

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