Leeds fans give Twitter verdicts on how Monk should solve defender crisis against Derby
By Alex Stevens
Leeds have been hit by a defender crisis for their Championship clash against Derby on Friday night – and supporters have taken to Twitter to give their verdicts on how Garry Monk should solve it.
Pontus Jansson will be suspended for the Elland Road showdown at the weekend after his 10th booking of the season against Cambridge on Monday night triggered an automatic two-match ban.
The Swede’s likely replacement Liam Cooper is also a major doubt for the match after sustaining an injury in the 2-1 FA Cup win over the League Two outfit that forced him to leave the Cambs Glass Stadium on crutches.
Manager Monk claimed he was hopeful Cooper would be “okay” but it appears unlikely that the 25-year-old will be able to line up alongside Kyle Bartley, the club’s third senior centre-back.
Fans are concerned that Monk will have to reshuffle a backline that has been the bedrock of the team’s resurgence this season.
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Many claimed highly rated right-back Luke Ayling should switch to centre-back, others urged Leeds to recruit a new man by Friday night, while others even claimed outcasted Giuseppe Bellusci should be recalled from his loan spell in Itay.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
Will Bellusci be making a special return & guest appearance on Friday? ?? #LUFC
— Mikey Mangan (@MikeyMangan1989) January 9, 2017
If Cooper and Jansson are out, who starts v Derby? Ayling at CB? Or are we desperate enuough to play Diagouraga? #lufc
— David Guile (@ellandduck) January 9, 2017
Who partners Bartley next game then if Cooper, Jansson are out? John Pemberton? #lufc
— mat taylor (@EtaylorMat) January 9, 2017
My concern is Jansson and Cooper likely to out for Derby. Ayling to play CB #lufc
— Lufc 🙂 (@Mattgriff86) January 9, 2017
Think we can do a Sunday league with Jansson and claim he’s a new signing to the ref and call him Dave #lufc
— James (@jimmy_L_UFC) January 9, 2017
Bring back Bellusci! #lufc
— Pontus Jansson’s hat (@mcurr01) January 9, 2017
Leeds head into the Derby match seeking their sixth win in seven matches, with their last five league encounters yiedling four victories and a notable 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.
Monk’s team are fifth in the Championship table, seven points adrift of the automatic promotion spots.
In other Leeds transfer news, the club are in advanced talks to sign a Bundesliga assists machine.