Leeds United head into tonight’s play-off contest with Derby County with one foot already in the Championship play-off final. A clean sheet at Elland Road will see the Whites take on Aston Villa for a place in the Premier League.
Marcelo Bielsa’s team were finely poised for a tilt at automatic promotion at the turn of the year. Some patchy form since then has scuppered those plans and a disastrous Easter period pretty much saw Sheffield United harbour an unassailable lead.
A Kemar Roofe goal was enough to give Leeds the advantage over Frank Lampard’s Derby County ahead of tonight’s second leg. The Whites have beat the Rams three times now this season and will hope to progress this evening.
There is a case to be made that Bielsa perhaps didn’t get his transfer dealings right in the January transfer window. The Argentine was keen on landing Steven Zuber of Hoffenheim, according to German outlet, Bild.
A Swiss midfielder, a move to sign Zuber never came to fruition and some fresh news has emerged which makes missing out on a deal look foolish on Leeds’ part.
According to Tutto Mercato Web, Serie A duo Roma and Lazio are in the summer race to land Zuber. The report suggests he could be available during the transfer window for £6 million.
The Italian giants have now surely stolen a march on Leeds. Bielsa must be cursing his luck that he failed to add the Switzerland international to his ranks.
Zuber would have been a real coup for the Championship and as a result, he would have perhaps been the catalyst for the Whites to push on and go up automatically. He has netted six goals and claimed two assists in the Bundesliga this season.
It remains to be seen whether Leeds will reignite their interest in the 27-year-old. Premier League football now looks a mandatory requirement given the quality of the competition.
If the Whites fail in their promotion quest Bielsa might rue not signing Zuber during January ahead of a final push towards the top-flight.