Look around the Premier League with a week to go in the transfer window, and one can almost smell the panic. As clubs like Newcastle United try to spend a nations GDP to build a squad that can stay up, Leeds appear to be somewhat more serene. And although the Whites are by no means in a perfect position, far closer to relegation than they would have wanted, there is believed to be no pressure or stress coming from coach Marcelo Bielsa.
The Leeds manager has often been negatively typecast as a manager who demands the world from those above. This is especially true when it comes to doing deals and signing players. However, it is believed that – at this time, at least – there is no pressure or demands coming from Bielsa towards the top brass at the club.
Reports earlier in January suggested the Argentine was pushing heavily to land a striker before the end of the window. While some deals might take place, it is believed that there is no demand coming from the coaching team to ensure that a deal is done in good time.
That will come as a positive surprise. Fans have long been worried that it would be Leeds who chase Bielsa away by failing to match ambition. With Patrick Bamford struggling for fitness and replacements players like Tyler Roberts failing to fire whatsoever, a new striker was expected to be a priority demand when the winter window opened up.
However, according to Yorkshire Evening Post writer Graham Smyth, this is not the case at all.
What has been said about Marcelo Bielsa and transfer demands?
The YEP writer has long been seen as someone with a decent track record when it comes to Leeds. In a recent column for the paper, Smyth noted that no interior pressure was coming from Bielsa to land deals as a matter of urgency. In the recent piece, Smith noted that it was central midfield as opposed to forward positions that a player was wanted for, noting: “Bielsa did welcome both Joe Gelhardt and Tyler Roberts back from the treatment room at the weekend to bolster his attacking options, although neither started as Daniel James occupied the lone striker role,
“Their return, along with that of Rodrigo who on Saturday played his first 90 minutes since September, mean Bielsa will not be asking for a new striker in the remainder of the January transfer window.”
Some fans might justifiably worry that Roberts is simply not good enough at this level to lead the line when Bamford is not fit. However, with the commitment to development of young players, the return of the aforementioned Gelhardt can only be a positive. The young striker was looking good prior to injury, and his return to the squad can only be a positive for the Whites as they push on in the second part of the season.
While some rumours suggested a new forward was a major issue for Bielsa, it looks like such fears have been unfounded.