Three free-agent centre-backs Leeds United must consider now
Leeds United have been hit with injuries lately and the list just keeps piling. The latest to enter the treatment room is defender Pontus Jansson, leaving manager Marcelo Bielsa with Liam Cooper as the only first-choice centre-back option.
Luke Ayling is ruled out for two months with a knee injury and Gaetano Berardi has also been sidelined, following a hamstring tendon rupture. Ahead of the weekend’s game, it won’t be a surprise if Conor Shaughnessy and Liam Cooper line up at the heart of the Leeds United defence.
Midfielder Kalvin Phillips has also played in central defence a couple of times this season, but Marcelo Bielsa cannot afford to take a risk with such a crucial period approaching. The Whites have already lost the momentum in the last month or so, and Bielsa should look to bring in defensive reinforcements instead of waiting for the winter transfer window to open.
That being said, here are three free agent centre-backs Leeds should consider now.
Robert Huth left Leicester City upon the expiry of his contract in July and it’s surprising to see him without a club for so long.
The German was the backbone of Leicester’s defence in their 2015/16 title triumph under Claudio Ranieri. Huth could be a viable short-term option for a Leeds side in dire need of leadership and experience at the back.
Even at 34, Huth could still perform at a high level and Leeds must definitely consider him.
James Collins was let go by West Ham at the end of last season after his contract expired.
The 35-year-old Welshman has played over 270 games in the Premier League and his experience and technical know-how could be an invaluable asset to the Leeds squad.
Collins is still going strong at 35 and would provide an affordable, high-level depth to the Whites’ defence.
Unlike Huth and Collins, Steven Caulker is just 26, a player who had been tipped to reach the top after emerging as a promising youngster at Tottenham Hotspur. However, Caulker’s career has not gone according to the plan and he remains a free agent after leaving Dundee during the summer.
With tons of Premier League and Championship experience, Leeds should certainly consider handing the one-time England international a chance to rebuild his career.
Who knows, the former QPR and Liverpool ace could turn out to be a brilliant long-term investment at Elland Road.