Three is Leeds’ magic number in the January sales

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The Yorkshire Evening Post’s chief football writer, Phil Hay, looks back at the ins and outs of the January transfer window down at Elland Road.

Liam Bridcutt (half-season loan from Sunderland): Made a big impression during a previous emergency loan and Steve Evans was desperate to keep him. Leeds feared that Brighton would outflank them by bidding to sign Bridcutt permanently but United secured an extended loan early in the window – helped no end by Bridcutt’s willingness to stay. Leeds have lost only three times in 14 games with the midfielder in their side and this is already a situation that Evans will be thinking about ahead of the summer. Leeds will need to find a way of satisfying the demands of a player who earns well over £20,000 a week.

Mustapha Carayol (half-season loan from Middlesbrough): A winger who Evans admired in his time as Rotherham manager and who Leeds took from Middlesbrough in the first full week of the window. Carayol had been on a year-long loan at Huddersfield Town but was allowed to exit that agreement and move to Elland Road. He has scored twice since then, on his debut against Rotherham in the FA Cup and away at Brentford last week.

Toumani Diagouraga (£575,000 on two-and-a-half year contract from Brentford): Leeds’ only permanent signing of the window, arriving at a cost of just under £600,000. Rangers tried to lure him to Glasgow but failed to meet Brentford’s valuation and United pushed a deal through. Diagouraga arrived at Elland Road with a record of having failed to score since March 2013. He claimed his first Leeds goal on his full debut at Bolton. Funny how things work out.

Outs:

Sam Byram (£3.7m on a four-and-a-half contract to West Ham United): the most predictable transfer of the January window after contract talks with Leeds ran aground. Only two things would have kept Byram at Elland Road – the absence of any serious bids or the possibility that a better move would be on offer when his deal at Elland Road ended in June. West Ham planned to sign him then but a £3.7million bid from Everton forced them into action and Byram preferred the option of Upton Park.

Tommaso Bianchi (half-season loan to Ascoli): hasn’t had much of a look-in at Leeds since the first half of last season and two knee operations last year didn’t help. Ascoli have an option to sign him permanently in the summer and probably will – even though he was sent off on his debut on Saturday.

Chris Dawson (released): showed promise in 2012-13 but succumbed to injuries and never made a concerted first-team breakthrough. He was out of contract at the end of this season and Leeds agreed to terminate his deal. Neil Redfearn’s Rotherham signed him quickly on an 18-month contract last week.

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