This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Leeds United host Bristol City this weekend with manager Marcelo Bielsa facing up to the reality that he will be without midfielder Adam Forshaw, who will miss the rest of the season, as he prepares to travel to the United States for hip surgery, it has been confirmed on the official club website.
Forshaw has not played since their away defeat at Charlton back in September, and his absence will call into question whether Bielsa should have looked to secure some additional midfield cover during the winter transfer window.
In reality, should Leeds have pushed harder to land some Forshaw cover in the January transfer window?
“Definitely. You do wonder if this is going to be a decision they look back on with real regret in a few months’ time.
“Forshaw has been struggling with this issue for some time now and though it sounds as if Leeds were hoping surgery would be necessary, clearly it was still a possibility, so they should’ve looked to pick up some cover.
“We’ve seen over the last few weeks how much they’ve missed Kalvin Phillips and that could’ve been reduced by having some additional cover.
“Squad depth is likely to become really important as the season wears on and you have to question if Leeds have got enough in midfield.
“Whether or not Forshaw was going to return later this season, signing an extra midfielder in January would’ve been the smart move.
“As it is, Leeds have made things more complicated for themselves.”
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“I don’t know about pushed harder, because in honesty, I’m not sure Bielsa wanted anybody to come in that wasn’t an upgrade on what he already had.
“Personally, I feel Leeds need another body in there even when Forshaw is available, with someone like Luke Freeman – who was loosely linked – an ideal fit for what the side was short of.
“Whilst my view is that Leeds needed another player in there, I can also see why the club didn’t sign someone, as that would’ve really closed a door on Forshaw, who will already be struggling mentally.
“It’s a blow and time will tell whether not making a move for someone in January was a mistake, but it’s a decision the club will not have taken lightly last month.”
“I can’t blame Leeds for keeping faith in Forshaw with the hope that he would recover in time for the promotion run-in, but it now does seem very naive in hindsight.
“Forshaw indicated that he first felt this injury flare up during pre-season so it would suggest that the club had more than enough time to plan for his absence.
“Leeds had the whole January transfer window to weigh up and move and it was clear that Forshaw’s injury was going to cause further problems.
“I don’t understand why Leeds didn’t at least line up a loan move for someone who could cover him in case he was ruled out, because if Forshaw did somehow recover, then that extra signing could just be recalled by the parent club. No one loses.”