Danny Mills has insisted Marcelo Bielsa had money to strengthen the Leeds United team in January but was only interested in signing Daniel James.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former United defender explained why the subsequent three-and-a-bit months have showed why Bielsa’s winter strategy has backfired.
Leeds were close to signing winger James from Swansea City on a loan-to-buy deal on deadline day only for their Championship rivals to pull the plug at the last minute.
Mills is convinced Bielsa should have utilised his connections with proteges Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino and had deals in place to sign Tottenham and Manchester City’s rising stars on loan as well as the James signing that ultimately collapsed.
“Maybe they put all their eggs in one basket, that’s what they were going for and when it collapses, not just at the eleventh hour but at the eleventh hour and 59th minute, when that collapses you’ve got nowhere else to turn to,” Mills said.
“Maybe in hindsight, if they could have brought in somebody of quality, even a younger player, maybe just to provide a bit of competition, that might have been the way to go.
“I think if you’ve got players that are playing in Guardiola’s setup, in Pochettino’s setup, they should fit into that a lot quicker than most players and plus, if you’re an out-and-out striker, your main job is to stick the ball in the back of the net.
“If they’d have brought in somebody that maybe could get 10 goals from January until the end of the season, that might have been a big help. I think money was there but it was Bielsa’s choice to stick with what he had.”
Many United fans will no doubt be infuriated at Mills’ revelation that the Argentine manager snubbed the opportunity to dip into the club’s kitty and they were willing to back him to a greater degree than many might have previously thought.
Leeds ended their Championship campaign with a 3-2 defeat to bottom club Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Sunday.
Bielsa’s side will face sixth-placed Derby County in the end-of-season play-offs.
In other Leeds United news, Marcelo Bielsa has high first-team hopes for loaned-out 22-year-old who has caught his eye.