Leeds United boss Daniel Farke on 'perfect' transfer decision and January window expectations
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Although it's fair to say Leeds are currently anticipating a relatively quiet mid-season window, Farke says work is going on in the background to prepare for any ins and outs the club desires for both this season and future seasons. Leeds brought Hammond in as an interim advisor to help guide them through a difficult summer 2023 window, alongside technical director Gretar Steinsson. Recently Leeds took the decision to keep Hammond on until at least the end of the summer 2024 window, in a transfer consultancy role.
Farke is all in favour of Hammond sticking around having enjoyed the dynamic between them and the impact the advisor has had when it comes to this season. The German said: "He is brilliant. He is key to our success in the recent months by gaining more and more stability for this club. I have great support with Angus and Nick and Gretar in different roles. Unbelievable support. Nick, with his experience and network, his quality work as a sporting director and how he handles things in difficult circumstances. We spoke a lot about the contractual situations in the summer, and he used his quality and experience, but also his great personality is fantastic, and he is fully committed to our club. It’s a perfect decision to keep him here for longer."
Having a small, tight-knit group working together on squad building has its benefits according to Farke, who wanted to have a definitive say in who would be arriving to play for him and took on the title of manager rather than simply head coach.
He said: "Our relationship is great, it’s a joy to work with [Nick] on a daily basis. The same with Angus and Gretar. We don’t have a very big group with many people to discuss, but we know each other from day-to-day more and more, just a few is enough to know what the other thinks and needs. I’m pretty pleased with this group and how much support we have. But many applause and credits go to Nick, and it’s fantastic to have him around.”
January has been occupying the minds of Leeds' decision makers but Farke is content that while he plots for the hectic fixture schedule that lies in wait between now and the new year, he has others he trusts keeping a close eye on the transfer windows to come. He said: “I think in general it's a task, especially with Nick and Gretar, to prepare the long-term picture and not just January - we have to think to next season and sometimes even a bit further ahead. It’s important for me to concentrate and focus on the daily work and the short-term success. I have to focus on the next game, and to make sure the next training session is at the top level. It’s important for me to have people I can trust to work in the background, people with this quality like Nick, like Gretar and Angus. They work in the background on this, things that are important for January, the summer and even next season. They work a lot on it and we chat about it but my main focus is still the here and now, and I am grateful to have people investing even a bit more time to work on the mid and long-term future.”
As for January, when Leeds are expected to explore the loan market rather than carry out extensive incoming transfer work, Farke admits he is hopeful for a quiet month. Wholesale change is not on his agenda at present. "Hopefully," said Farke. "You never know what happens in this business. If you ask me right now, it would be a calm window because the key decisions for our squad are made, and you can always have a look at one or two positions, and what can happen with loan players, but it won’t affect the major direction of the club. We have to keep the core players and to make sure the key players of the club are together. The group around the players, also the staff, are there, and it should be a relaxed window and a different one to what we had in the summer. We know everything is smoothly working and that we are on the right path. We won’t fall asleep, but I’m expecting a pretty calm window.”