Leeds United will not make a move for Burnley striker Matej Vydra in the January transfer window, provided Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah remains at Elland Road, The Athletic’s Phil Hay has reported.
It had previously been reported by The Daily Mirror (22/11, p74), that the Championship promotion chasers had been considering a move for the Burnley man at the turn of the year, although it now appears that may not be the case.
According to the latest update from Hay, a move for Vydra from Leeds ‘definitely’ won’t be happening, with Leeds instead set to stick with the options they currently have upfront for the remainder of the campaign.
That is based on the condition that Nketiah is not recalled by Arsenal at the turn of the year, something there has been speculation about with the 20-year-old yet to start in the league this season.
Vydra’s name been doing the rounds for the past week or so but that definitely won’t be happening. Leeds will stick with their frontline as it is next month provided Nketiah stays. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) December 2, 2019
So would not moving for Vydra be the right decision for Leeds to make?
Here, we look at two pros and two cons to the club’s apparent transfer stance around the striker.
Pro: It would save them some funds
According to those reports linking Leeds with a move for Vydra, it would cost the Championship side at least £7.5million to convince Burnley to part company with the striker.
That feels like a significant amount to pay for a player who has made just 22 appearances in all competitions since moving to Turf Moor from Derby in the summer of 2018, with that asking price something that could potentially be putting Leeds off here.
Indeed, if they chose not to spend that money on Vydra, it would at least mean that they could elect to look to spend that money on strengthening other areas of the squad, should they wish to do so.
Pro: It should help their cause with Nketiah
Plenty has already been said about the future of Eddie Nketiah at Elland Road beyond the turn of the year, and it feels as though there is still much more to be discussed.
This latest update however, certainly feels like it could be a boost for Leeds in respect of their chances of keeping Nketiah in Yorkshire for the second half of the current campaign.
The fact that Leeds are apparently keen to simply stick with the attacking options that they currently have, could suggest to Arsenal that Nketiah may yet be able to get that first-team experience they hoped he would be getting when they sent him to Leeds in the first place – with it now appearing there may not be any more competition for a place in the side – which may convince the Gunners to allow him to stay there.
Con: They could miss out on a useful goalscorer
Goals are something that have been an issue for Leeds at times this season, and Vydra is someone who could potentially have helped remedy that.
The striker has previously enjoyed some prolific seasons at this level with the likes of Watford and Derby, and scored 21 goals in 42 Championship appearances in his final season with the Rams before earning that move to the top-flight with Burnley.
That is the sort of impact that Leeds could well find themselves needing if they wind up in a similar situation to the one they faced at the end of last season, and you have to wonder whether they may yet rue the decision not to look to sign Vydra in January, if another Championship side do elect to make such a move.
Con: They would be short on options upfront
If Leeds are indeed to stick solely with the attacking options they currently possess all the way through to the end of the season, it could well be seen as something of a risk.
As things stand, the club’s only two centre forward options come in the form of Nketiah and Patrick Bamford, meaning they do look as though they could find themselves walking a tightrope when it comes to injuries and suspensions later in the campaign.
Indeed, with Bamford already swinging from prolific to barren and back to prolific this season, it is hard to know if he is someone they will be able to rely on, meaning having someone like Vydra to turn to as an alternative if Nketiah finds himself on the sidelines with injury – as he has been recently – could actually be a welcome option for Marcelo Bielsa to have when we approach the business end of the season.