Marcelo Bielsa’s first season in Championship football will have taught the Argentine boss that any side needs a squad with depth if they are to last an entire season – something his Leeds United team failed to do.
The Whites remained in the top for the majority of the campaign, but eventually finished in third after a slump in results and suffered a loss in the Championship play-off semi-finals to Derby.
Ultimately, the squad lacked strength in depth with Bielsa preferring a smaller, versatile squad. But if they are to finally end their 16-year wait for top-flight football, a bigger pool of players from which to choose from is needed.
Wingers seem to be the priority after links with Ryan Kent, Helder Costa and Jack Harrison, but the club’s reported interest in Brighton defender Ben White (YEP) shows that Bielsa wants another central defender.
Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson remain the club’s first two central defenders, but there is little cover. Aapo Halme and Pascal Struijk are untested, while Luke Ayling, Kalvin Phillips and Gaetano Berardi are preferred elsewhere.
That should convince Bielsa to scout the market and the Telegraph have reported on Wednesday that West Ham United youngster Reece Oxford is available for just £2million, with West Brom and Middlesbrough interested.
The youngster has failed to live up to his enormous hype, but is still an England youth international and has played in the German Bundesliga for both Borussia Monchengladbach and Augsburg.
Oxford is perfect for Leeds, and most importantly, Bielsa. Able to play at right-back, centre-back and in holding midfield, Oxford will adhere to Bielsa’s preference of versatile players.
He is a bargain at £2million and is still only 20 years of age. It is a must for the Whites to rival both West Brom and Middlesbrough for Oxford’s signature then.