Leeds United left striker light after window closes

After saying he had money to spend and that he was looking to bring in three players this week Leeds United boss Steve Evans was left frustrated in his attempts to add to his squad on the final day of the mid-season transfer window.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 3rd February 2016, 2:09 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd February 2016, 2:14 pm
Souleymane Doukara, who has now become a key player for Leeds United.
Souleymane Doukara, who has now become a key player for Leeds United.

It came as no surprise to many fans as yet another transfer window proved an anti-climax and came and went with the Whites not significantly strengthening.

And not for the first time in January in recent years United sold a major player and did not make a major signing, prompting much anger on social networks directed towards owner Massimo Cellino and the seeming lack of ambition at the club.

Fans should note, though, that Cellino has turned down bids for several players, keeping hold of the likes of young stars Lewis Cook and Charlie Taylor being every bit a priority as bringing men in.

But he is certainly better off after the transfer window after pocketing £3.7 million for Sam Byram and only splashing out £575,000 for Toumani Diagouraga plus whatever outlay was involved in loan deals for Mustapha Carayol and Liam Bridcutt.

All three new boys are decent players, but do not address the main problems with the current squad as they already had plenty of midfielders and two wingers, but still do not have the striker they so clearly need.

Head coach Evans had made a striker a priority to add to his options, which have been limited recently with top scorer Chris Wood out injured.

Souleymane Doukara has stepped up to the plate with four goals in six matches, but if he was to pick up a knock or get suspended it would only leave Evans with Mirco Antenucci and untried youngsters he has never included in the first team squad. And Antenucci came close to moving back to Italy on transfer deadline day, but Leeds realised they could not let him go.

Evans will now have to battle on with his existing group of forwards and will be left looking for any cast-offs when the emergency loan market opens up again – a hardly satisfactory way to run things.

He had initially hoped to bring in Norwich’s Kyle Lafferty on loan, but his club wanted a permanent deal. They thought they had got it when Swiss club FC Sion came in for him, but that move fell through on Monday, leaving Leeds free to ask again when the loan market opens up next week.

Evans did try to splash some cash on Barnsley forward Sam Winnall, but had a £300,000 bid rejected and declined to improve the offer to closer to his club’s valuation.

It has all left the head coach crossing his fingers that Wood quickly recovers from his hamstring injury and the lack of incomings has left Leeds fans wondering what is left for them this season.