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 continue to lead the way with West Brom in the Championship this season, though with only one win in their last five outings, fans would be forgiven for being concerned that the collapse that led to the Whites missing out on automatic promotion last season, could be on the cards again.
One option open to manager Marcelo Bielsa to strengthen his squad during the January transfer window, is a move for out-of-favour Burnley striker Matej Vydra, who former Whites striker Noel Whelan suggests on Football Insider, is an option the Whites should consider, having previously expressed an interest in signing the Czech international.
So should Leeds look to re-kindle their interest in Vydra?
“While Vydra is certainly a top drawer player for a Championship club, I’m not convinced Leeds should make a move for him, given that they failed previously.
“One of Bielsa’s main targets in his first window was Vydra and the Whites came close to signing him that summer, but he held out for a Premier League move and got one in Burnley.
“This gave the impression to Leeds that Vydra was never sold on the move and thought better of himself which might leave a bitter taste in the mouth of those at Leeds looking to bring players in, thinking he might not be the right mentality of what they need to clinch promotion.
“Leeds certainly need a striker this month and Vydra’s abilities fit the bill but having barely played in 18 months, he doesn’t have any momentum to hit the ground running at Elland Road when that’s what the Whites need at the minute. Not for me, this one.”
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“Vydra is a player who is unstoppable on his day. He’s shown in the past that he can be the best player in the Championship and having only played six times for Burnley in the Premier League this season, and with no goals, he’ll be hungry to go and get some game-time somewhere.
“Leeds have a lot of players like Vydra in their ranks, but getting into the second-half of the season, and Leeds looking like they’re tiring out under the regime of Marcelo Bielsa, extra squad players will never hurt them.
“I think Vydra can still do a job in the Championship – he’s only 27-years-old but because he’s tried and failed in the Premier League more than once, there’s a feeling that he’s past it. But it was only two seasons ago that he scored 21 goals for Derby in the Championship.
“Bielsa should work to bring anyone in this month, and Vydra looks like a good shout. Sean Dyche’s side though have got a slight injury crisis on their hands, and with several forwards either injured or already out on-loan, whether or not they’ll let another go is unknown.”
“There will be many Leeds fans who would not want their side to pursue Vydra after he turned them down previously, but I think the attacker would be a strong fit into Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
“He can operate in a striker or number 10 role for the Whites, and his excellent goalscoring record in the Championship means he is exactly the kind of back-up attacker Leeds could use within the squad.
“Vydra will not be an immediate starter for the Elland Road side given his lack of game time, but he could make a valuable impact from the bench by providing both a creative and goalscoring presence.
“The fact Vydra rejected Leeds previously will of course raise doubts regarding the forward’s commitment, while fitness may also be an issue given his lack of minutes, but this is definitely an option Leeds should still consider as the window progresses.”