Leeds United, once esteemed English giants, witnessed a massive downfall in the past decade due to some administrative oversight and are now struggling to get out of a Championship midtable place despite a ray of hope under Garry Monk last year. Monk’s surprise stepping down as Leeds boss left a massive void and neither Thomas Christiansen nor Paul Heckingbottom managed to script an upsurge at Elland Road.
However, the dejected supporters were rewarded with a significant boost when club owner Andrea Radrizzani convinced former Argentina and Chile chief Marcelo Bielsa to take charge of the Whites and the iconic manager, lauded as one of the pioneers of modern day football, is now on a mission to re-establish Leeds as an esteemed Premier League force.
The West Yorkshire outfit, meanwhile, are significantly quiet in the transfer market so far with only a couple of loan recruits in custodian Jamal Blackman and midfielder Lewis Baker both from Chelsea and saw their surprise £1.2m bid rejected for little-known Poland international Taras Romanczuk – a key figure in the middle of the park for Polish Ekstraklasa outfit Jagiellonia Białystok who finished runners-up last season, three points behind the champions Legia Warsaw.
Bielsa, therefore, must switch his sights to alternate options who can prove to be decent value-for-money recruits. Here we have shortlisted three such names who will come cheap but will add strength as well as depth in the Leeds midfield.
Runar Mar Sigurjonsson
Current Club: Grasshoppers
A part of Iceland’s 2016 UEFA Euro squad, the 28-year old but failed to make it to Russia for the World Cup 2018 event. However, he is a decorated midfielder who is capable of playing in multiple roles but best suited as a deep-lying playmaker who also adds goals to his game. Sigurjonsson is currently playing his football in Switzerland for Grasshopper Club Zurich and with less than a year remaining in his current deal, the player could be available for a significantly low transfer fee.
Current Club: Metz
The Argentine joined the French side Metz last summer on a Bosman transfer after more than 100 appearances for Colon back in his homeland. Metz had a disastrous Ligue 1 run that saw them finish rock bottom and suffering a demotion. Poblete struggled initially to settle into the new surroundings but had some sparkling performances that should improve under proper guidance. There is no better individual other than Bielsa capable of taking out the best from his fellow countryman who should offer a combative presence deep down the midfield if he fulfils his potential.
Current Club: Hull City
The attacking midfielder joined Hull City from Eredivisie outfit AZ Alkmaar with a huge reputation but could not do justice to the hype as he struggled to find a proper role that suits his game. The Norwegian flourished as a midfield attacker but looked more effective in a deeper role when utilized more centrally on a few occasions in the Championship last season. He, however, has entered the final year of his contract and Leeds must grab his signing to increase versatility in the middle of the park. He should be used as a deep-lying playmaker or in a box-to-box role that will help him to settle down quickly and start exhibiting his quality for the promotion aspirants.