By Darren Bent

15th Dec, 2020 | 1:16pm

Pundit Exclusive: 'Bielsa will have something up his sleeve' as Leeds Jan U-turn touted

Marcelo Bielsa may pull a U-turn over signing a new defender in January after the shattering injury blows at Leeds United.

That is the view of former England striker Darren Bent who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the Argentine boss will be frustrated with they way his side have conceded so regularly this season.

Despite losing both Robin Koch and Diego Llorente to injury, Bielsa confirmed, as quoted by Leeds Live, he had no plans to try and sign a new centre-back when the winter window opens next month.

The Germany international could be out of action for three months after undergoing knee surgery, while the Spain star is expected to be missing for a couple of weeks.

Luke Ayling stepped into the centre of defence against West Ham, while Pascal Struijk and Kalvin Phillips have acted as makeshift centre-backs in the past.

Having seen the Whites slip to a 2-1 defeat to the Hammers on Friday, Bent believes that Bielsa might consider changing his mind about not targeting a defender in January.

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“I mean, he might have to because, with the injuries as well, he might be forced into it but you know what Bielsa’s like, he’ll think of something and he’ll have something up his sleeve,” Bent told Football Insider.

“You’re definitely right, they do need to do something in that role, whether they go out and buy someone or not, I don’t know, but either way they need to find a way to stop conceding so many goals, especially at set plays.

“From Bielsa’s point of view, he can’t be happy with conceding so many goals from set plays and they need to find a way of stopping that, that’s probably the one area that’s letting them down.

“Now that you’ve got to go makeshift and put people in positions and obviously try to mix everyone, that might cause them some difficulty. This is where, obviously, squad rotation comes into it, and it’s going to be a big part for Leeds.

“It’s a bit of a killer for Leeds but at the same time, again, someone in the squad’s got to step up.”

In other news, Leeds United have set their sights on a stunning swoop for proven Premier League star as “huge” fee touted.