By Russell Edge

6th Feb, 2018 | 6:30pm

Heckingbottom must make statement and snap up international free agent as first Leeds move

COMMENT
New Leeds United manager Paul Heckingbottom can make a serious statement, as well as bolster his already depleted squad, by signing up Steven Caulker on a free transfer just days after his arrival.
The Whites officially appointed the ex-Barnsley manager on Tuesday after getting rid of former boss Thomas Christiansen following a seriously worrying run of form, which had seen the club fail to win any of their last seven games, a streak which extends back to Boxing Day.
To add to their woes, the squad has been hit by a spate of suspensions and injuries, with the 4-1 defeat to Cardiff City seeing Pontus Jansson and Gaetano Berardi both ruled out.
With the transfer deadline having happened just a week ago, Heckingbottom will be feeling frustrated he was not approached sooner, and given time to build up a squad of his choosing for the second half of the season.
However he has the chance to make a real statement by making a move for free agent Steven Caulker, with the centre back released by QPR back in December and reportedly hunted by a host of Chinese and Turkish sides, according to the Mirror.
Remaining in England would no doubt be the one-cap international’s preferred choice, and with a squad looking a little bit more than just threadbare, the Whites could do with his talents and experience, with 44 Championship and 123 Premier League appearances under his belt.
Wages might pose an issue, but with few other options out there a move to Elland Road would still be an attractive move, in what could be worked as a short term, pay-as-you-play deal.
The 26-year-old must be a consideration of Heckingbottom now he has signed on the dotted line with Leeds, and it could well be a match made in heaven.
In other Leeds United news, an official picture has suggested a serious blow for a first team figure.

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