COMMENT By Will Butcher
Leeds are closing in on the signings of attacking duo Alfonso Pedraza and Ashley Fletcher – and they are set to be catapulted straight into a new-look starting XI.
The Mail claimed that West Ham striker Fletcher will make a move from east London to Yorkshire before the transfer window shuts on Tuesday night.
Former Swansea boss Monk has been desperate to add to his promotion-chasing squad this month, as he eyes Leeds’ first return to the Premier League since their relegation in 2003-04.
Leeds would need to register the duo with the FA by midday on Tuesday if they were to be available for selection for Wednesday’s league clash against Blackburn at Ewood Park.
Nevertheless, manager Monk is finally set to add to his squad, and here is how Pedraza and Fletcher could be incorporated into the Yorkshire giants’ starting eleven at the weekend.
To include both new signings into the side, Monk would have to alter his current 4-2-3-1 system to allow him to play with two strikers.
Leeds have been known to use a 4-1-3-2 system that sees captain Liam Bridcutt drop into the holding midfield role to provide an extra blanket of cover over Monk’s four-man defence.
In what is an attacking line-up, Fletcher would join top scorer Chris Wood in a deadly two-man attack, with the New Zealand international already on 20 goals for the season.
Villarreal winger Pedraza would come in on the left of midfield in his natural position, as a straight swap for Souleymane Doukara and Stuart Dallas.
The duo have failed to hit the heights this season, with Doukara playing out of position over Northern Ireland international Dallas for the majority of the campaign.
That would see Pedraza link up with fellow countryman Pablo Hernandez in attacking midfield, with Kemar Roofe remaining on the right.
Monk’s first-choice defence go unchanged, as he waits for Charlie Taylor to return from an achilles injury to be able to name his preferred back four.
In other Leeds news, Guillem Balague has had this to say about Pedraza.