Leeds United seem to be one of the Championship’s slow starters this season, as manager Daniel Farke seeks to figure out his squad and who he can rely on…
Who could Leeds United sign this summer?
The German has already shown form of acting when he comes to a decision on a role within the side, as the speed with which they completed the deal for Joel Piroe was startling.
It was actually fast enough to throw him straight into the side yesterday, with their efforts rewarded as he netted on his debut in a 4-3 win.
However, for all the goals scored, it marked yet another underwhelming defensive display for the Whites, who will surely know what position their next acquisition must be.
Having already welcomed Joe Rodon on a temporary deal, perhaps they could seek to secure an alternative defensive stalwart permanently, reigniting their interest in Liverpool’s Nat Phillips to boost that area of weakness.
After all, The Athletic reported back in late June that the 26-year-old was available for just £10m, which marks a small price to pay to perfect this outfit.
How good is Nat Phillips?
It almost felt like a matter of time before the west Yorkshire outfit began finding the net with regularity, given how they dominated their first few league matches despite failing to secure a victory.
After all, they have now managed to average 15.5 shots per game alongside their 57.8% average pass accuracy in four games, outlining their dominance, via Sofascore.
However, for all their control, they still remain wholly susceptible to swift counters, catching the defence napping.
As such, they have now conceded seven goals in just four games, as many as they have scored.
Their backline still needs bolstering, and the quality of Phillips could prove imperative in doing so for a cut price.
Especially given he has shone not only for a side that has earned promotion from the Championship but also in the Champions League for his current club.
Jurgen Klopp even sought to thank his exploits after they had reached the final of the competition last year, noting on Phillips and Rhys Williams: “In the end, we played with two incredible players – Rhys and Nat”.
The German supplemented this with further praise for the latter, as he claimed:
“He’s a brilliant guy, smart guy, intelligent, everything. He’s not easy on the eye, he’s not Messi but who cares? In the air, he’s a monster! He was incredible. For the first game, I think everyone can imagine how nervy that must be after a long wait.”
The 2020/21 Premier League season marked a standout for the Englishman as he maintained a 7.19 average rating, but it was his performances for AFC Bournemouth during the 2021/22 campaign that are more poignant, helping to support the notion that his introduction would perfect Farke’s squad at this level.
After all, across 17 games he posted a 7.04 average rating, buoyed by his 82% pass accuracy, 1.5 interceptions and 4.1 clearances per game, via Sofascore.
For someone who has had limited exposure to senior football, he boasts incredible defensive awareness, and a clear ability to snuff out danger with ease.
His presence at the heart of their defence could be imperative in plugging their outstanding weakness, helping mimic his promotion heroics once again.
With the attack seemingly clicking into place, sorting out the other end of the pitch would offer the perfect balance needed to truly mount a successful push to return to the top flight.