Marcelo Bielsa declared himself happy with Leeds United’s transfer business as the EFL’s permanent deadline passed tonight without any new arrivals at Elland Road.
Leeds’ search for further additions to their squad will continue until the August 31 cut-off date set by the EFL for loan deals after the club stepped back from the scramble to complete full-time transfers before 5pm this evening.
United sealed five signings in the permanent window, including the £3m purchase of Barry Douglas from Wolverhampton Wanderers and the £7m capture of striker Patrick Bamford from Middlesbrough, but the club are still assessing options at centre-back and in midfield with three weeks left before the EFL draws a line under all moves until January.
Bielsa has overseen major alterations to the wider squad at Thorp Arch with no fewer than 13 departures so far, among them the £7.7m sale of Ronaldo Vieira to Sampdoria. Eunan O’Kane and Caleb Ekuban, both of whom are surplus to requirements, remain on the books having failed to attract any permanent offers on deadline day but could now move out on a temporary basis.
Leeds have a loan offer on the table for Everton centre-back Matthew Pennington, the defender who spent last season at Elland Road, but Everton are weighing up other options amid rival interest and Pennington did not depart Goodison Park today.
Asked if the deals completed by Leeds would allow him to maintain the standard of performance seen in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Stoke, Bielsa said: “I am happy. To keep the intensity is the goal but we’ll have to show that we can do this every game.”
Vieira was the most high-profile exit from Elland Road, a transfer which owner Andrea Radrizzani approved for financial reasons, but Leeds emerged from the permanent window without encountering serious interest in Sweden international Pontus Jansson, despite links to Burnley and West Ham United.
Bielsa admitted he would be pleased to see the back of the transfer window, saying: “I like it when things are clear. I don’t like periods when we have uncertainty.”
Leeds made an impressive start to the Bielsa’s reign as head coach with a fluent defeat of Stoke City last weekend and will attempt to claim a second victory from two games away at Derby County on Saturday.
Bielsa voiced satisfaction with the performance against Stoke, saying: “The game had many ups and downs and we dominated most of it. We respected our philosophy of play during most of the game.
“The two aspects that characterised us more is that we got the ball back very fast and we made many passes building from the back before finishing the action. If we respect these two aspects then I can get the right level of the team.”