LEEDS UNITED head coach Thomas Christiansen kept the club’s plans for January close to his chest last night and claimed his squad were already set up for a top-six finish, insisting an influx of signings was “not a must”.
Christiansen played down the prospect of major investment by Leeds in next month’s window and gave his existing team a vote of confidence by saying he felt no urgency to add to a group of players who are eighth in the Championship after 20 games.
United and chairman Andrea Radrizzani set a top-six finish as their target for the Italian’s first year as outright owner of Leeds and Christiansen’s squad will attempt to cut a five-point gap to the play-off places away at Queens Park Rangers this afternoon.
Leeds set the early pace in the division before a sustained loss of form pulled the club down the table.
United remain in contention for promotion but the board at Elland Road look likely to limit their transfers next month, in line with the overall strategy under Radrizzani.
Recruitment at Leeds, headed up by sporting director Victor Orta, has focused on medium to long-term prospects since Radrizzani’s and the YEP understands that Leeds are targeting a young centre-back ahead of the start of the January window.
It’s nothing I want to think about or speak about. I have my job to do and if they come and tell me something then I’ll listen to it and give my opinion but up until now I’m very happy with what I’ve got.Leeds United head coach, Thomas Christiansen
A total of 14 first-team players arrived during the summer, in tandem with the departures of Chris Wood, Charlie Taylor, Rob Green and Liam Bridcutt, and Christiansen said he was putting no pressure on United to improve his options further next month.
“I’ve always expressed that I’m happy with the team and the squad I have,” Christiansen said. “With how the situation is within the squad, I don’t want to touch anything right now.
“If the club decide to bring in a player or two then it’s an option but it’s nothing I want to think about or speak about. I have my job to do and if they come and tell me something then I’ll listen to it and give my opinion but up until now I’m very happy with what I’ve got.”
Asked if the club would be open to opportunities which allowed him to improve individual positions in his team, Christiansen said: “If that should be a possibility then we would listen to it but right now it’s not a priority.
“Victor is working on that and if it’s necessary - again, it’s not a must to sign players but of course he’s in the market to see what could be interesting.
“I’m very pleased with the players I have, how they train, how they perform and how they are with the ideas we have. I cannot complain.”
Christiansen was also insistent that his current players were good enough to secure a top-six finish. “I believe so,” he said.
Most of United’s summer recruits have featured in the club’s Championship season but Swedish forward Pawel Cibicki - signed from Malmo on deadline day in August - is yet to make his league debut and midfielder Mateusz Klich last started a Championship match in September. Both could attract loan bids next month due to their lack of involvement at Elland Road.
Christiansen, however, said: “Other players who haven’t been in the squad or have been on the bench will have their opportunities.
“The end of December and January will be very tough and if there will be any injuries - we hope not - then they will have a possibility (to play).”