With just 10 days to go until the January transfer window opens and the rumour mill once again starts to churn, all eyes at Leeds United are on who could come in – or exit through – the doors at Elland Road.
Yet, perhaps in a bid to curb fan expectation before the mid-season trading period commences, Whites manager Daniel Farke has told the media that he expects a “pretty quiet” transfer window in January.
Leeds admittedly had an extremely hectic window during the summer, one which saw several of the players who featured for the Whites last season depart the club on season-long loans. A series of signings were also made by Farke upon his arrival in West Yorkshire as he sought to mould a squad capable of mounting a convincing promotion charge this season.
The departure of winger Luis Sinisterra on loan to Bournemouth, a player who Leeds received Jaidon Anthony for in exchange, defied even the bounds of the summer window itself – with the move being formally completed after the window had slammed shut due to the submission of extension forms.
While it is almost impossible to see the upcoming January window comparing in busyness to the same degree, there is still a clamour from fans to plug what they perceive as gaps in their squad – most notably in the left-back and attacking midfield positions.
With first-choice left-back Sam Byram – who himself was a summer arrival – currently out injured until at least the New Year and the quality of back-up Junior Firpo dubious, there is no doubt that it is this area of the pitch which should be the priority.
And, given Farke’s prior interest in signing Bayer Leverkusen playmaker Nadiem Amiri during the summer – a move which ultimately fell through – it would be no surprise to see Leeds focus their efforts on finding a player to fill this role as well.
Yet, speaking in his pre-match press conference today, Farke was quick to stress that his current focus is not on January but the upcoming games his side have to navigate during a busy festive fixture period.
“My focus is just on the next four games. I have to talk so much about possible transfers, incomings and outgoings in the summer.
“We have a period now where we just want to concentrate on the next games and let’s talk about all that other stuff in January because I can’t avoid it and we’ll discuss it in January anyway.
“I expect a pretty, pretty quiet January anyway, for us. Right now I’m just focussed on the games.”
Farke’s comments come as a crucial clash with second-placed Ipswich on Saturday approaches, a game which could go a long way towards dictating which teams find themselves in the Championship’s automatic promotion spots at the end of the season.