So the summer transfer window slammed shut on Wednesday evening and with no emergency loan market, apart from bringing in free agents, Football League clubs are stuck with their current squads until January 1st.
Leeds United have “strengthened” their side with eleven new signings. This is their biggest summer expenditure since relegation from the Premier League yet they are still so far behind other Championship clubs in terms of money spent. Newcastle spent £55 million on their side on eleven signings; Aston Villa were close behind spending £51 million, £27 million of that on Ross McCormack and Jonathan Kodjia alone.
Have we really got a stronger squad than last season though? On paper I’d certainly say yes but selling Lewis Cook for £6 million is a big mistake. He’s basically funded 75% of our incoming transfers but he’s left a big hole in central midfield. It’s an area we are completely overloaded in but it’s the lack of quality we have in there – the saying is always quality over quantity, but do we really have the quality? Bringing Liam Bridcutt in was a big signing, I was sure he’d sign for someone else the longer the deal dragged out. Eunan O’Kane was a big player at Bournemouth helping them achieve promotion to the Premier League and as much of a panic buy as it was, it’s a good signing for us in terms of his ability and especially at this level.
We are still very short in certain area’s. Releasing Bamba has left us with three centre-back’s once again and two of those are on season-long loans. Kyle Bartley and Pontus Jansson should be an improvement on Bamba and Bellusci but I still feel we need an extra one or two central defenders in case of injury or suspension. We are also light up top with Marcus Antonsson, Chris Wood and Souleymane Doukara our first-team strikers. The latter for me isn’t the quality of player you need if you want to be challenging for a top six finish. Those are just two areas where I feel we should’ve made more of an effort to strengthen.
Hadi Sacko and Kemar Roofe look very promising additions, the former has taken some criticism from myself but I’m certainly starting to warm to him, he just needs to sort out his final ball. Roofe was our biggest signing at approximately £3 million and I’m sure he’s going to come good he just needs a confidence boosting goal. We all know Pablo Hernandez has the quality but he hasn’t shown much of it yet, still early days and hopefully he’ll be able to recreate the form he showed at Valencia. Rob Green has taken some stick early on but I still think he’s an improvement on Silvestri despite his age. Matt Grimes is a talented youngster but with the amount of central midfielders we have at Elland Road I think his game time will be limited and Luke Ayling has been a solid acquisition at full-back.
Despite selling Cook we managed to keep hold of Charlie Taylor, although I think it’s a big risk letting him leave on a free at the end of the season. He, like Cook, should’ve been given a longer contract so we were never in a position of potentially offloading him for less than his market value.
I think it’s been a decent summer overall but the Cook sale has left a sour taste. We will review the signings at the end of the season and if we’re in or around the play-off’s I think we can say it will have been a decent season. You never know we might be in the top six come January and really make a push in the transfer window… but that’s just us dreaming right?