Leeds United: Whites must show more urgency in future transfer windows – Monk

Alfonso Pedraza.
Alfonso Pedraza.
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Garry Monk declared himself satisfied with Leeds United’s transfer business but said he would look for the Elland Road club to show much more urgency in future windows after sealing both of his January signings on deadline day.

Monk revealed that he has spoken to United’s senior management team about making sure their transfer strategy was “a bit better planned” following late moves to bring in Alfonso Pedraza and Modou Barrow.

The wingers finalised half-season loans to Elland Road on Tuesday, hours before FIFA’s 11pm deadline, and Monk said the completion of those transfers – United’s only signings of the window – ensured Leeds were emerging from January “stronger than when we went in”.

Monk had shown signs of frustration in the week leading up to deadline day with the sale of Alex Mowatt to Barnsley for £600,000 coming at a time when Leeds were still to add to his squad.

Speaking after last Sunday’s FA Cup upset at Sutton United, a deflated Monk told the media they would have to “ask the club when and where that (the arrival of new players) is going to happen” but an agreement for Pedraza, who joined from Villarreal with a view to a permanent deal, was reached later that night.

Barrow followed the Spaniard into Leeds, signing from Swansea City and linking up with a head coach in Monk who took him to Swansea from Sweden in 2014, but Monk’s bid to sign a new centre-forward ended in failure after West Ham United refused to release Ashley Fletcher on loan.

Asked about his new recruits, Monk said: “They’re going to give us extra options, which we need, and they’re like-minded to the group I already have – very young and coming here with something to prove. They’re up-and-coming and they’ve got quality as well.

“Of course there are other things you’d like to do as a manager but this is the situation we find ourselves in. I’ve already spoken to the club and they know as well as me that I don’t particularly like to do business on the last day of a transfer window. I’d rather it be a bit better planned and give us a bit more time but that happens for various reasons. I’m very happy with the two we’ve brought in.”

The failure to sign a new striker leaves Monk short of cover for top scorer Chris Wood, whose 17 league goals have helped United establish themselves in the Championship’s play-off zone.

Leeds tracked 21-year-old Fletcher throughout January but West Ham manager Slaven Bilic refused to let the forward leave on loan after pulling out of a deal to take Scott Hogan from Brentford.

Monk, whose side claimed a 17th league win of the season at Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday, said: “We go as we are. There are other things you’d love to do but it’s not as easy as that. It’s not always straightforward.

“We go with what we have and I’m very confident in this group. We’ve been finding ways all season to cope with situations. The most important thing when the window opened was that we came out of it stronger than when we went in and we’ve done that.”

Can Leeds United repeat their first round League Cup triumph over Port Vale when they take on Newport on Tuesday night? Picture: Tony Johnson.

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