David Prutton: One new face in the January window could galvanise Leeds United

IT'S strange that Leeds United picked up only one point from their games over new year at Birmingham City and at home to Nottingham Forest.

Friday, 5th January 2018, 5:05 am
Thomas Christiansen.

You can also look at what’s happened with Bristol City over the last couple games and it just shows you that nothing is necessarily guaranteed.

We looked ahead to those games at Birmingham and at home to Forest and they weren’t necessarily shoo-ins.

But you thought they were about as close to shoo-ins as you are going to get in the Championship, especially with the form that Leeds were in going into those games.

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Kemar Roofe.

We have seen Birmingham really struggle this season. They have struggled to score goals and they have struggled to defend.

If you were looking to play a team that was underperforming and lacking confidence then they would have been the ones that you would have been hanging your hat on.

Leeds quite obviously would have expected more from those two games than a point but you come up against a Forest side without a manager and it’s a slightly different proposition.

It just goes to show how unpredictable the league is.

Chris Wood.

If you are being pessimistic about it then you could say that these dropped points could be the difference come May because you look at what happened at the tail end of last season when it was very, very close. It became ridiculously close towards the end and that’s something that you would think Leeds would be very, very wary of with regards to dropping points against teams that, in theory, in the form that they are in, they should be beating.

It’s damaging in the sense that it’s a disappointing end to what has been a really good run of games.

But you’d like to think that having been through what they have been through that they’d have enough perspective and pragmitism to be able to deal with it. The January transfer window is obviously now open and I think Leeds need to go and get another striker and perhaps someone who is slightly different.

Leeds have had a nice spread of goals around the team but it would be good for them to have someone that can share the burden going forward.

Kemar Roofe.

You have got Pierre-Michel Lasogga there, but if you have got someone who is more mobile and who can link play a little bit better then I think that’s what you would be looking at.

Will those types of strikers be at premium? Yes. But maybe you look up into the Premier League and look for a loan striker to be able to help that.

And maybe the timing of the last two games is good in a sense that it shows the ownership and the management that the problems that they perhaps thought they had addressed earlier on in the season are still there and maybe need to be addressed with fresh faces or players that are slightly more ‘marquee signings’.

Fair play to the signings that have come in as they have done well and it does seem like Leeds have done their homework with these players and that they have unearthed some decent little gems.

Chris Wood.

But maybe that marquee signing is the one that really galvanises the club in January.

The fans will want a replacement for Chris Wood but the team has spread the goals around since Chris was here.

He is the obvious glaring hole to fill.

But if it’s the case that Kemar Roofe is charged with being the main goal-getter then he’s got to step up to the mark.

I think from what we have seen from the types of goals that he has scored is that he seems to have refocused his eye for goal which saw him so prolific at Oxford.

And I think that getting a decent run in the role that he seems to prefer has done him wonders. But it’s like anything, in every area of the team you are crying out for consistency.

Last year at Newcastle and Brighton there was no kind of funny business and it was no coincidence that they went up after that.

They were built on a solid foundation. But I think Roofe can step up to that role and he’s humble enough and hungry enough to be able to make it his own.

People will say that the January market is expensive but that’s the way it is.

The money men at Leeds seem to be quite sensible with the way they are going about it in terms of wanting to build the right foundations and there will be an element of that that they will take into account.

They don’t strike me as panic buyers or buyers of players that would be overpriced and from that point of view you get the feeling that financially they are on a sound footing.

Then after that it’s whether Thomas [Christiansen] and the people that bring the players in agree on who comes in and they meet in the middle with that.

As we know nowadays, it’s not just the manager who picks players, there’s a whole raft of people who get involved now.

I think now is the time to sign a striker but only if that’s the right person and if he hits the ground running.

You have to speculate to accumulate and don’t go too big because if you don’t end up in the play-offs and you don’t go up then you end up with a huge wage bill.

But you incentivise it in a way so that the lads who are already there get together with the lads that come in and say ‘look, we are going to knuckle down for the second half of the season’.

Then you just never know where you might end up.

I always use the Huddersfield Town example and that was perhaps more of a culture shift within that club, led by a very talented individual who oversaw the whole community of people underneath it in David Wagner.

But it goes to show it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.

n Upcoming Sky-televised Championship fixtures:

Tonight: Sheffield United v Sheffield Wednesday (7.45pm).

Tomorrow: Cardiff City v Sunderland (12.30pm); Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa (5.30pm).