By Alex Stevens
Leeds fans will be angry that Sheffield Wednesday paid such big money to sign Jordan Rhodes in January while their club failed to buy a striker.
That is the verdict of former Elland Road striker Andy Ritchie as he assessed the transfer business conducted by Leeds during the winter window.
Garry Monk’s side signed two wingers on loan on deadline day, with Alfonso Pedraza signing from Villarreal for the remainder of the season and Modou Barrow joining from Swansea for the same period.
Both deals will only cost Leeds loan fees – the Pedraza charge will reportedly be £300,000 – and the wages of the players.
By contrast, Wednesday agreed a late deadline-day deal for Rhodes to join on loan until the end of the season that will be made permanent in the summer for £10million.
The striker made an instant impact at Hillsborough when he scored the game’s only goal in his side’s 1-0 win at Wigan in the Championship on Friday night.
Ritchie believes the events of the last week will have stirred emotions among Leeds supporters, especially as the arrival of Andrea Radrizzani as the new co-owner at the start of January window would have held the promise of greater investment in the team.
“I can imagine fans being angry when you have got the likes of Sheffield Wednesday bringing in Jordan Rhodes,” said Ritchie in his weekly Yorkshire Evening Post column.
“I’ve got to say that in Andrea Radrizzani’s defence, the January transfer window came a bit too early for him. He is still feeling his way around the football club to know what situation he is in.
“But the fans are probably thinking they brought somebody in, even somebody on loan from a Premier League club which has shown a little bit more willing and it might have appeased the fans a little bit because they are in a fantastic position and playing really well.
“The window might have come a little bit too early for Leeds but maybe they could have gone a little bit further in their dealings.
“But fans will look at it and think ‘well where are we in the pecking order if Sheffield Wednesday can go and do that?’ as there’s no doubt that Leeds United are a bigger football club than Sheffield Wednesday.”
Leeds are fourth in the Championship heading into their Sunday lunchtime showdown at fifth-placed Huddersfield.
Wednesday’s win over Wigan lifted them to sixth in the table and to 49 points for the campaign, five adrift of Leeds.
In other Leeds transfer news, Monk has made a shock transfer revelation after meeting with new owner Andrea Radrizzani.