One of the talking points surrounding Leeds United’s disastrous Championship campaign has been a proposed lack of leadership among the squad.
From the disciplinary issues which plagued the Whites around January to the apparent lack of mental strength to rescue themselves from their two separate abysmal stretches of form, the doubts are certainly warranted, even if the likes of Paul Heckingbottom want to argue otherwise.
If the club do want to push for success next season, either for a play off spot or even an ambitious bid for automatic promotion, another leader or two around the squad could be crucial, although securing such characters could be a difficult task.
One man who will likely be available come the summer is Aston Villa defender Micah Richards, the 29-year-old currently enduring an abysmal time with the Villans as a result of his injury woes.
With 13 caps for England and two Premier League titles to his name with Manchester City, Richards has operated at the very top of the game, and such experience could be vital to the Whites improving next season.
Yes, his atrocious injury record means he will always be known as a sicknote, and one unused substitute appearance this season means he will not be able to demand the £35,000-a-week wages the Birmingham Mail state he currently receives at Villa, but a pay-as-you-play deal could work for both parties.
A contract which runs until 2019 means Steve Bruce’s side are likely to be willing to field offers for the defender, rather than let him leave on a free next summer, and having been recognised for his leadership qualities at every club he has been at, a swoop is definitely worth a gamble for Leeds.
In other Leeds United transfer news, the club must swoop for one of the club’s stars’ international teammates from top flight title winners.