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Leeds United transfer rumours: Leeds target 'attracting interest' from West Ham, Whites reportedly set for £34m transfer battle

Marcelo Bielsa still maintains that Leeds United have invested sufficiently in their squad.

By Jason Jones
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 8:04 am

The subject of potential January additions has cropped up again, unsurprisingly, after a 7-0 defeat by Manchester City that saw Jamie Shackleton limp off to join several others in the treatment room.

Bielsa is currently without Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford, Liam Cooper, Pascal Struijk, Rodrigo and Robin Koch, with Junior Firpo now suspended for Saturday’s visit of Arsenal.

The head coach had nothing new to say on the matter in the aftermath of the Etihad humiliation.

“It’s a question that I’ve answered various times, I don’t have a different answer than what I’ve given up until now,” he said.

“Of course I’m losing authority in the position I defend because every game presents new difficulties. The question you ask me leaves me defenceless to defend my ideas.

“Nobody prepares themselves for such a succession of injuries that has happened.

“It’s also important to leave clear what I’ve said about this subject previously. The capacity for an institution to fortify their squad has a limit due to their budget. In that sense the president, the club have acted in a more than sufficient manner. But this is not the moment for me to explain anything.”

Bielsa has often cited the difficulty of incorporating signings midway through the season because they can need time to get up to speed, and in recent weeks has insisted that only players who are better than the ones he has could be considered.

The injury crisis he’s currently experiencing is taking on the feeling of an exceptional circumstance, however. There is no known timescale for the return of Phillips, Bamford or Cooper while the training ground knock that has kept Struijk from action is one Bielsa has never seen before in his career. Rodrigo’s heel problem is similarly rare.

At the Etihad on Tuesday Mateusz Klich was the only senior player on the bench and the potential loss of Shackleton, coupled with Firpo’s suspension, will likely give an opportunity to at least one of Mark Jackson’s Under-23s when the Gunners arrive on Saturday.

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