Recently, a report from Italy came out to suggest that Leeds United would go on to sign Matej Vydra in January for £7m. However, Phil Hay of the Atheltic recently went on to reveal that United would not make an approach for the former Derby County striker in the January transfer window. The reporter also added that the Whites are content with their forward options at the moment and there would be no new arrival in the frontline as long as Eddie Nketiah stays put at Elland Road.
This was always going to be likely, and we too had called out that the Whites were unlikely to go for Vydra in January. Bielsa is clearly happy to work with a smaller squad and for him, integrating the current squad players into his system is more important than looking outside to bring in new options.
Moreover, Nketiah has already struggled to get a start so far in the Championship, so bringing in another striker wouldn’t have made sense as the manager clearly prefers Bamford to play up front. Some might feel that Bielsa’s stubbornness might cost Leeds United as even last season they missed the presence of a prolific goal scorer especially in the second half of the campaign.
Is Bielsa making the right call?
Vydra is a proven goal scorer in the Championship, and just two seasons ago, he finished on top of the scoring charts in the English second division. His impressive form for the Rams earned him a move to Burnley, but the 27-year-old has struggled to earn regular game time with the Clarets as Sean Dyche has preferred Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood in the offensive end of the field. Vydra has played just 58 minutes of Premier League football this season which came over four matches.
The Czech Republic star is a natural finisher in front of the goal. He can stretch the pitch with his runs, and he is someone who can link up play well in attack. However, adjusting to Bielsa’s system would have taken him some time. Moreover, the striker has hardly played any football in this calendar year.
With Bielsa’s strict demands, Vydra might have struggled initially to fit into his playing style. He wouldn’t have been a bad signing, but the striker might have taken a month or two to get used to the way Leeds United play, and by that time we would be almost in the final stretch of the season. Hence it didn’t make sense for them to pay £7m for him.
Why Leeds United should have enough options
Nketiah should be ready to fire in the second half of this campaign as he has been with the club since the summer. Tyler Roberts is another option who can lead the line for the Whites when required. So not going for Vydra is certainly not a bad call from the club.
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