Leeds United should have gone all out for striker in transfer window – Whelan

Chris Wood
Chris Wood
33
Have your say

I’M DISAPPOINTED that we only brought one player in on transfer deadline day.

But I’m also disappointed that we didn’t work hard enough trying to get a striker through the door.

I find it a little bit strange as we are not scoring enough goals and we are needing and crying out for another striker to be in the ranks because we are very low in numbers in that department.

That should have been priority number one and they have not managed to do it so for me it’s been a poor window.

This should have all been sorted out before – when you know you are lacking in striking power and you have not got enough cover in your ranks and you need to add quality in that department.

This work should have been ongoing for not just a week before deadline day or after a certain game, it should have been prepared and in place at least a month ago – when you know you are light in numbers in that department.

It’s bad business not to have secured a permanent signing or a loan signing of a player who can challenge Chris Wood and Marcus Antonsson.

For me, Kemar Roofe is not a striker. I’ve seen him play there and he looks a little bit lost. His natural role is a winger.

He’s still getting to grips with the physicality of the Championship, the pace of the Championship and the quality of the Championship so he needs to find his feet very quickly.

Souleymane Doukara is third-choice striker and is he going to get you into double figures for the season? Probably not and we need more than that.

If Wood and Antonsson play the majority of the games, they will get into double figures but is that still going to be enough?

And where are we going to get the goals from midfield?

I would be looking at the midfield chipping in with at least eight to 10 goals with a couple of players but are we going to get that? I don’t think so. Time will tell if Eunan O’Kane from Bournemouth proves a good signing.

I don’t know too much about the boy but he has obviously got a good pedigree in having been at Bournemouth under Eddie Howe. He seems to have his players playing in the right way and with a structure to their play but did we need another midfield player? That’s what I question. We’ve got an abundance of central midfield players now at the club and with Sol Bamba leaving we now have three centre-halfs. That means there’s just one cover for that position now and when you look all the way through the team, where do we need strengthening and where do we not have enough numbers in? Strikers and what do strikers do? Score you goals and win you games.

In midfield, for me, Kalvin Phillips and Ronaldo Vieira have done okay and Phillips has been a very improved player from last season. We have seen a lot more of him, he is finding his feet and it seems like he now fits in a lot more. He has seen a lot more game time and we saw the quality that he possesses with the goal that he scored at Nottingham Forest.

But we need more goals from midfield and the new signing, O’Kane, has scored six goals in his career. So we are going to be needing at least 20-goals plus from both strikers if we are not going to have people chipping in from midfield.

And that’s just the fundamentals.

You can look back at the seasons before and you have got to have midfielders chipping in with between eight and 10 goals with maybe a couple getting five or six a season.

It puts a lot more pressure on them knowing now that we have not brought another striker in.

In certain positions you want four and you want four centre-halfs or two partnerships.

You want two starting and then one on the bench and then one who is just going to be there.

Unless they have got someone coming through the under-23s who we can give a bit of game time here and there and who we can call upon if there are a bout of injuries within that specific position, then we might have to look to get another one in on a free transfer – someone who is a free agent. For me, having four players in specific positions is a must. If people are coming through the 21s then I think you will find a lot of people will get bullied and they will find the pace and the strength of the Championship very, very difficult.

And I even think Luke Ayling going back to centre-half is a risk and a gamble. He’s a very talented player, I can see that, and he knows his position very, very well. But I think stepping into a different kind of role like that and a very important role at centre-half is taking a chance.

We have Huddersfield Town coming to Elland Road on Saturday and that is a huge game for Garry Monk and the players and the club as a whole.

Even though it is early doors in the Championship season, we don’t want to be drifting too far apart with points tallies.

We have got to get back to having that winning mentality again. It will have been two weeks, which is a long time not to have a football match, and the last game was a defeat.

You are playing against a team that are top of the league, who are flying. They are full of confidence, very organised, structured and have a philosophy of playing which is working. But I fancy us if we bring that physical quality that we had to our game against Sheffield Wednesday.

But we have got to have better quality because we are still letting ourselves down with the final ball.

We are still not creating enough chances, we are still not creating enough goals and that’s a worry. And we seem to be leaking them again. Simple defensive mistakes are creeping into our game and kill us every single time.

It’s a concentration thing, it’s an aggression thing and marking at corners is an art. You have to enjoy that challenge and, at the moment, we are coming off second best which is killing us.

Leeds United's players training at the Jenbach Stadium in Austria. New signing Matthew Pennington joins his new team mates.

Big Interview: Thomas Christiansen on why he took the Leeds United job and his first impressions