Though the sun shone brightly on the away end at Bramall Lane on Saturday lunchtime, there was still a grey cloud present in the afternoon’s proceedings. It was hard not to wince as Liam Cooper hobbled through, clutching painfully at his knee before he unfortunately had to be substituted for Aapo Halme in the 22nd minute.
Little is known about the extent of this injury, other than Bielsa describing it as “serious”. This, on top of the long-term knocks received by Luke Ayling and Gaetano Berardi sounds the alarm even louder to the Elland Road suits that perhaps in January, another defensive option is more than needed.
The first potential signing would be that of Mason Holgate. The 22 year-old can operate at both centre-back and right-back positions. More likely to be on loan, he has found himself to be on the fringes of the Marco Silva’s plans this season making just 4 Premier League starts this campaign.
The next option for Leeds is Diego Polenta. Currently without a club, the Uruguayan defender had spent most of his career floating between Serie A and Serie B, before he moved back to his native country to join Primera División side Nacional and was part of their 2016 title-winning side. More interesting however, is reports that emerged over summer in Spanish newspaper El País that linked Polenta with a move to Elland Road.
Finally, Bailey Wright, the Bristol City captain and Australian international, has just 6 months left on his contract at Ashton Gate. At points this season, Wright has shown himself to be a comfortable ball-playing defender which certainly befits Bielsa’s defensive criteria.
Let us know if you think Leeds should bring in a centre-back this January and if so, who?