There is little doubt that Leeds United are in the hunt for defenders, with centre-backs a definite area where the Whites are short-handed at the moment.
At present, Leeds only have Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper as first-team central defenders, the former being suspended for the first two games of the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship campaign.
Beyond those two, Leeds would have to dip into the Under-23 Development Squad for untried youngsters such as Paudie O’Connor or shift Luke Ayling over from right-back into a central role, a makeshift move at the best of times.
So, it would seem that a dip into the transfer market would be the best option for the Whites as they look to strengthen a weak area before the season starts at the beginning of August. If not, then it will either be shuffling or digging into the ‘reserves’ for Leeds as they look to plug a somewhat threadbare gap in their ranks.
One name that is being bandied about as being ‘linked’ with Leeds is current Bristol City player, and defensive stalwart, Aden Flint. Leeds need someone solid at the back to replace Kyle Bartley, whose success at Elland Road whilst on loan last season has seen him reinvigorated at Swansea. Bartley was solid and dependable at the back when Leeds were under the cosh, and was also a threat from set pieces with his aerial presence.
Aerial presence is something that Aden Flint has, especially standing at 6ft 5.5in, and he has goals in him. He has 32 goals in league competition: two in 32 League Two appearances, 19 in 112 League One appearances and 11 in 90 Championship appearances. He scored 14 in the 2014/15 League One campaign – including a hat-trick and netted five times last season for Bristol City.
This ‘link’ was going nowhere until Flint’s actions on social media caused a bit of a stir
It seems here that Flint has ‘liked’ a comment from a Leeds United fan saying “Would not mind aden flint at #Lufc”. Innocent enough as that comment is, as is the subsequent ‘like’ from Flint himself, it is enough to spark a degree of interest and supposition. Speculation about Flint’s future at Ashton Gate has been growing in recent months with the Bristol Post saying that: “Some of the sides that are interested include [sic] other than Leeds include Derby County, Reading, Middlesbrough and Sunderland.”
Signing someone like Aden Flint would reassure Leeds United fans that strengths from last season are being carried over to the forthcoming Sky Bet Championship campaign. All Leeds fans will be asking for is a sense of continuity so that the positives of last season are not wasted.