We’re fast approaching crisis time for Leeds with the first pre-season friendly game a week away and very little inbound activity. Which is weird because a coach of Bielsa’s reputation (and temperament) will not likely accept the historic excuse of “the right players weren’t available” – so this is very much Radrizzani playing with fire. Vydra had emerged as an obvious front-runner in Leeds’ pursuit for a talismanic front-man but the club have urged a need to cool down interest in the player after his wage demands have rocketed since initial discussions.
Though this isn’t a discussion about transfer targets and who Leeds should seek to sign, but more the impending urgency with which our transfer activity will now be tinged. This may be a classic case of delaying things in order to drive prices down, but the counter-argument to such a practice is that Leeds will now be known as desperate – and desperate buyers don’t tend to haggle well with patient sellers.
It’s typically chaotic from Leeds – though we can elect to be sympathetic given the World Cup is an unusual blocker and may be tempering the ability to meaningfully progress bigger deals – but it does feel like we’re patting down our suit pockets and shuffling our feet before affably trying to explain that we’ve “left our wallet at home”. Bluntly, this smacks of Leeds not having the money to conduct the business they want to conduct.
Abel Hernandez was an early target whose high salary demands were tempered by the lack of a transfer fee, but Bielsa’s preference for Vydra led Leeds in that direction. Though if Leeds are needing to consider themselves back at square one, it leaves an awful lot of transfer activity to take place in a very condensed period.
Leeds need strength all over the pitch – with only 1 senior goalkeeper (who only found himself a senior in the final months of last season) at the club and a whole host of other signings needed (notably up-front), we’re not doing ourselves any favours.
With Bielsa’s tactics theoretically something that will take some adjustment, it seems awfully cavalier to assume that we can cram it into such a short period. Leeds face Stoke in their first league game in under a month – not tonnes of time to induct half a dozen new players into not only a new squad, but an entirely new tactical system.
It’s crisis time. Of course it is.
All we need now is for Pontus Jansson to come back from International duty and request a move to the Premier League and we’re in a proper pickle. Classic Leeds, this.