Leeds United have got very little wrong at the back this season. Marcelo Bielsa’s side boast the best defensive record in the Championship, and Ben White looks to be breezing his way towards being remembered as one of the club’s most inspired signings for some time.
Nevertheless, supporters would have been forgiven for wondering what could have been had Victor Orta landed one of his reported targets in the days before Bielsa’s arrival – especially now that that player is being linked with a big-money move between two Premier League sides.
The Sun on Sunday (17/11; page 67) reported at the weekend that Everton are interested in Sheffield United defender John Egan.
The Blades will reportedly demand a fortune for the 27-year-old, who has helped Chris Wilder’s side stun everyone by going into the international break fifth in the table.
But it may not come as a massive surprise to some at Leeds that Egan is flying. The Yorkshire Evening Post reported in June 2018 that the defender had been on the Whites’ radar.
Ultimately, Egan would leave Brentford that summer. But it was Sheffield United who landed him. And of course, Leeds fans do not need reminding how the season played out.
Obviously, it would be dramatic to say Egan joining Leeds instead of Wilder’s men would have changed the promotion race. The two clubs were amongst the three best defences in the division.
Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper were outstanding for much of the campaign. Meanwhile, Gaetano Berardi look transformed at times. So it is not even a given that Egan would have played as regularly at Leeds, particularly with Bielsa usually remaining incredibly loyal to those who posses the shirt.
But with Sheffield United fifth in the top flight and Egan now reportedly on Everton’s radar, those at Leeds who wanted Egan may feel like kicking themselves slightly.