By Wayne Veysey

18th Dec, 2021 | 7:45am

Sources: Leeds in January U-turn as Orta lays groundwork for two major signings

Leeds United have ripped up their original January transfer plan due to the injury crisis engulfing the club, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

Director of football Victor Orta is now looking to recruit two new midfielders rather than one after losing star man Kalvin Phillips for a lengthy period of time.

A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Orta is scouring the market for number six defensive midfielder as well as an attacking number eight midfielder.

United chiefs are fearful of a relegation battle in the second half of the campaign and want to boost Marcelo Bielsa’s squad with some top-class additions.

Leeds are down to the bare bones ahead of Saturday evening’s Premier League clash against Arsenal.

Just eight members of the first-team squad took part in training at their Thorp Arch headquarters on Thursday.

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Bielsa had to boost the numbers with youth-team players just to make the session worthwhile.

In midfield, Leeds are particularly stretched.

Phillips is facing at least two months on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, while Jamie Shackleton joined the casualty list in the midweek mauling by Man City.

Pascal Struijk has also played a holding midfield role previously but he is injured, while another potential option, Robin Koch, has been out for four months and is only now close to a comeback.

That leaves Leeds with Adam Forshaw, who has only returned in the last month after two years out, and Mateusz Klich as the senior central midfield options as well as the versatile Stuart Dallas.

Bielsa has suggested it would take significant money in January to recruit better players than he currently has at his disposal.

In other news, Leeds United injury crisis reaches devastating new heights after update from Thorp Arch.