Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has gone on record as saying that he does not envisage any player arrivals in January. He has said that he’d rather work with the talent that he has.
This is a strategy that, as is seen by their 2nd place in the Sky Bet Championship table, is working. However, fans have been quite vocal on social media as to a need to bring in fresh faces to ensure that the push towards the end of 2018 is not allowed to drop in the second half of the campaign.
Bielsa’s ‘no players in’ statement is also one that is being questioned by media outlets and their sources. One such outlet is Turkish media site Aksam, who bring a latest update regarding former Sunderland winger Jeremain Lens.
Rather than side with Bielsa’s missive that no business will be done, Aksam beg to differ and are quite clear in doing so. They say that the Whites are: “scheduled to purchase [loan]this player [Lens] in January with the option of purchasing him.”
This ‘purchase’ is said by Aksam to be dependent on whether Leeds United are “satisfied with his performance” and that, if so, “it is planned to take him at the end of the season.”
Dutchman Lens, who has 34 caps and eight goals for the Netherlands, signed for current club Besiktas only in July this year. He arrived from Sunderland after their relegation to League One for a fee thought to be in the region of £4million.
Prior to that, he’d spent the last two seasons on loan in Turkey after Sunderland had crashed out of the Premier League. He was first on the books at Fenerbahce where he notched up 36 appearances (five goals/17 assists). He then spent a season on loan at current club Besiktas where his 32 appearances paid back four goals and five assists.
This season the winger, who can play on either flank, has featured in 18 games across all competitions for Besiktas, scoring five goals and adding six assists.
Whilst Aksam seem to suggest that an agreement is in place for Lens, that remains to be seen. One stumbling block would surely be the wages that he would demand, even on a loan-to-permanent deal. Should he actually impress, and should it be the case that Leeds were to take him on, you’d have to think that it would rely on a promotion to the Premier League.