According to a statistic by OptaJoe, Leeds United have used 15 starting centre-back partnerships in the Premier League this season which is four more than any other side. Leeds’ defensive struggle continues this season as they suffered another 2-4 defeat at home to Manchester United this weekend. The Whites have leaked in 50 goals this season which is the second-highest in the league behind Norwich City who have conceded 3 more than them. Marcelo Bielsa’s team are currently placed 15th in the league table and face a tough relegation battle in the coming weeks if they continue to leak goals.
Liam Cooper’s Injury A Huge Blow to Leeds United
The absence of Scottish defender Liam Cooper has been a huge blow to Bielsa as he faces a tough challenge to improve his defensive issues at the club. Cooper suffered a hamstring injury in the early minutes of Leeds’ clash against Brentford which ended in a 2-2 draw. The Whites have conceded 30 goals in only 10 games since his injury as they see themselves loitering around the relegation zone after 24 games in the league.
Bielsa, as reported, have used 15 starting CB partnerships this season but the results don’t seem to improve. The most used partnership of Cooper and Llorente has played only 393 minutes together. Bielsa’s concern still remains as the 30-year-old is yet to make a comeback from injury.
Should Bielsa Sign A Defender In The Summer?
With the Whites’ massive defensive concern this season, signing a defender in the summer should be Bielsa’s top priority. Leeds conceded 54 goals in the whole of last season too but Patrick Bamford was the key man for them upfront scoring a lot of goals to bail the team out and finish 9th in the table. The absence of Bamford has made the issue much more noticeable this season and Leeds are nowhere near the top half of the table.
Signing a quality centre-back in the summer remains Bielsa’s top priority as they look to avoid relegation this season. Leeds have shown glimpses of great attacking displays which indicates that they have the ability to challenge the top teams if they improve their defensive record. With reports surrounding Raphinha that the Brazilian is interested in a big-money move to a top club, Leeds must use the money from his sale to buy quality defenders in the summer and challenge for a top-half finish next season.