COMMENT by Will Butcher

Leeds manager Garry Monk can secure promotion in his first season at the helm – but must sign an A-list centre-back first.

The Yorkshire giants currently have Liam Cooper, Sol Bamba and Kyle Bartley as their centre-back options.

With Cooper currently injured though, Monk is left with just two available defenders at the heart of his back-four ahead of this weekend’s Championship curtainraiser and desperately needs¬†to bring another senior centre-back to Elland Road.

Free agent and former England international Joleon Lescott has been linked with a move to Leeds after following and quickly unfollowing the Whites’ official Twitter account.

It wouldn’t be the first time Lescott¬†has acted recklessly on Twitter, but it would be a huge coup for Leeds despite his poor form for Aston Villa last season.

In what is a young squad at Monk’s disposal, Lescott would provide much needed experience where it is needed most.

The former Manchester City star¬†isn’t the only name to be mentioned¬†in Monk’s search for a centre-back, with Nottingham Forest and former Liverpool hardman Jack Hobbs¬†said to be¬†high on the 38-year-old’s shortlist.

Hobbs possesses a wealth of Championship experience after spells with Huddersfield Town and Leicester City, and would again be a welcome signing. His wages though, according to Yorkshire Evening Post’s Phil Hay, would be a problem.

If, as Hay suggests, Leeds look for a younger centre-back, then Tottenham man Dominic Ball could be the man to drive through the Elland Road gates.

Doubts remain over his ability at centre-back though, after Rangers manager Mark Warburton converted the 21-year-old into a defensive midfielder during his loan spell at Ibrox last season.

If Monk can bring in Lescott, and failing that, Hobbs, then Leeds’s defence will give a much more solid outlook as they look to be in contention to return to the Premier League for the first time in 12 years.

In other Leeds transfer news, ex-manager Neil Redfearn says the Whites should have signed this striker.