What Marcelo Bielsa has said about the January transfer window as Leeds United approach opportunity to sign new players

Leeds United are able to sign new players from Saturday - and this is what Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa has recently said about the January transfer window.

By Lee Sobot
Tuesday, 28th December 2021, 11:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th December 2021, 11:58 am

The January window opens on New Year's Day and closes on January 31.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference before United's most recent game - the 4-1 defeat at home to Arsenal - Bielsa was asked if he had looked at bringing back any loan players due to the sheer amount of injuries and said: "In relation to the incomings and outgoings in the summer, I would like to be precise so you can see my position clear.

“First of all I don’t want to use an excuse with the players that I have.

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OPPORTUNITY: For Leeds United and head coach Marcelo Bielsa, above, to sign new players from this weekend. Photo by Lynne Cameron - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images.

"I never said I don’t want players to come in January, as you guys informed I am opposed to it.

"The only thing I said and I reiterate is that to bring in players they should be better than the ones we already have.

“The club has invested £130m in this squad, I don’t know if they can or can’t invest more.

"But I’m not in conditions to demand incorporations when the organisations has been so responsible.

“Every player that is on loan that can be recovered and have been manifested in the six months that have passed, if they were similar to the level of the squad at the moment we would see.

“They went on loan and the club understood my idea, the players were in better conditions that the ones we loaned out.

“What we have to verify is if there has been an evolution in them outside of the club.”

Asked at the same press conference if he had discussed any January targets, Bielsa said: "That type of information we only give if we are going to sign a player.

"What I don’t have any doubts about is that the club will do the maximum they can to resolve the needs.”

Speaking after United's 7-0 defeat at Manchester City the previous Tuesday, Bielsa was asked if there was a case to be made just to have some fresh bodies in to bolster the current situation.

The Whites boss said: "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.

"Of course I'm losing authority in the position I defend because every game presents new difficulties.

"These questions you ask me leaves me defenceless to defend my ideas.

"But nobody prepares themselves for such a succession of injuries that's happened and it's also important to leave clear that what I've said about this subject proves the capacity for an institution to fortify their squad has a limit due to their budget and in that sense, the president and the club have acted in more than a sufficient manner.

"But this is not the moment for me to explain anything."

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip Chelsea, Bielsa was asked if the hamstring injuries suffered by Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford and Liam Cooper had put extra pressure on the January transfer window.

"The injuries are in the tendon, not in the fibre of the muscle," said Bielsa.

"I wanted to be precise. It’s not that they’re not muscular injuries - but it’s the tendon, not the muscle fibres.

"The average of players that we have had out has always been four, in some short periods, we have had five or six.

"In this moment, the absentees in attack would be Bamford and Rodrigo, and for the trio defensively, it’s Cooper and Phillips.

"I think we’re going to recover Koch, and Gelhardt has given options in that position, and Pascal also. Cresswell, when he’s had to play, has also given positive responses.

"Tyler is evolving in the centre of the attack.

"Also, Klich is an option as a defensive midfielder.

"Forshaw has played as a defensive mid before, and he’s done it well.

"Of course, we didn’t expect to recover from four injuries to have four new ones.

"But I’m always optimistic, and I always work so that difficulties harm us as least as possible, and this case is the same.

"With respect to signings, any player in the club is in a condition to bring in that is better than the players we have at our disposal will be a possibility that is welcome.

"But we all know the difficulties of the winter transfer market. So it’s difficult to find players who are competing who don’t have a place in the team that they are in.

"Normally those who are competing have a space within their team, and whether it’s an economically viable option, for those three conditions to be met, it is not simple."

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Thank you Laura Collins