COMMENT By Will Butcher
Leeds are crying out for centre-back reinforcements after Liam Cooper picked up a knock against Cambridge United on Monday night.
The 25-year-old is now a doubt for Friday’s clash against Derby, which has worsened Garry Monk’s options at the back after Pontus Jansson’s 10th yellow triggered an automatic two-match ban.
With potentially just one recognised centre-back, Monk should act quickly to sign a central defender this month and here are three options that could be loaned to Elland Road.
Struggling to break past Arsenal’s first-team world beaters, Holding is reportedly available to leave north London on loan this month in order to gain first-team football. News outlet HITC claimed in December that the Yorkshire giants were set to rival a handful of Championship sides to sign the former Bolton youth player. Bringing in a player of Holding’s quality, which has already been proven at the top level, could prove crucial in Leeds promotion hopes.
USA international Carter-Vickers would be a top signing after breaking through to feature in the Tottenham first team this season. Possessing an abundance of strength as well as a calmness on the ball when in possession, the Spurs academy product would fit in well with Garry Monk’s style of play at Elland Road. Currently behind the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Kevin Wimmer, Carter-Vickers has had to make do with appearing intermittently in cup games but first-team football under Monk could be perfect for both parties.
Offering Monk versatility, the highly-rated prospect would be able to fill in at both centre-back and holding midfield if he was brought to Yorkshire. The England youth international is currently recovering from a long-term injury, and will be desperate for game time to complete his recovery. However, he is unlikely to be given a regular run in the Hammers side under manager Slaven Bilic, with Winston Reid and Angela Ogbonna remaining first choice, With James Collins warming the bench, Oxford could be allowed to leave and would solve Leeds defensive crisis.
In other Leeds transfer news, there has been a major development in Monk’s attempts to sign this £3.4million-rated defender.