Leeds United have gotten into a bad habit of leaving things late over the past few years, and that transfer strategy needs to change if they’re going to have any success this season.
United have been known to operate late into the transfer window over the past couple of years, and it’s very rarely worked out for them, with Dan James’ transfer falling through at the last minute, Eddie Nketiah being recalled by Arsenal within a few months after arriving on deadline day and Jean-Kevin Augustin failing to start a game after arriving late in January.
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Leaving it late in the window is always a risk, with the James deal perfectly encapsulating that, but even when you make a late signing, it doesn’t always work out.
Marcelo Bielsa’s incredibly strict fitness regimes have been well-documented, with the Argentine reportedly weighing his players every morning and not selecting them if they don’t hit their goals and any signings that don’t get a full pre-season often struggle to get up to speed.
Nketiah didn’t start a game until late December, while Augustin’s fitness was criticised as soon as he arrived, and that isn’t a mistake Victor Orta can afford to make again.
The ongoing pandemic has caused huge issues in the soccer calendar, and a shorter off-season means that clubs have less time to get signings in before the big kick-off, and that doesn’t help Leeds at all, especially with Bielsa in charge.
United are no longer the big fish in a small pond, so getting off to a good start could be absolutely vital, and if Orta leaves it late to get the signings through the door, United could be left short at the beginning of the season due to the fact the new men simply won’t have time to get their bodies up to Bielsa’s fitness standards, and that simply means they won’t play until they are up to scratch.
Leeds may have six weeks before the season starts, but if they want their new signings to make an immediate impact they may have to come in within the next fortnight or so.