With the January transfer window well under way and the usual rumour mill in full operation, there are many sides in the Championship in need of signings to help propel them to promotion, or keep themselves in the division.
Here we take a look at three sides who are in need of strengthening their squads in the window, and in what positions they need to strengthen to aid their respective end of season ambitions.
Leeds have enjoyed an excellent campaign so far under Marcelo Bielsa with a run of seven consecutive victories over the festive period, including a 3-2 win at Aston Villa despite trailing 2-0 at the break, propelled Leeds to the top of the Championship table.
However, since a 3-2 win at home to Blackburn Rovers, a game in which Leeds scored two late goals to claim all three points despite trailing with a minute to play, The Whites have lost their last two league matches, 2-0 at home to a resurgent Hull City and a 4-2 reverse at Nottingham Forest, as well as losing to Queens Park Rangers in the Third Round of the FA Cup.
Leeds’ recent dip in form has put further importance on the need to strengthen their squad, with a host of injuries throughout the season requiring Bielsa to name a substitutes bench predominantly made up of academy players in the last few months.
Bielsa’s side have been linked with the signing of a goalkeeper, and will also be looking to replace the departing Samu Saiz, as well as strengthening their defensive options before the end of the window. It will be vital for Leeds to improve the size of their squad if they are to maintain their push for promotion back to the Premier League.
Ipswich have endured a torrid campaign so far and sit rock bottom of the Championship ten points adrift of safety. Paul Hurst has already departed having been brought in the summer to replace Mick McCarthy having guided Shrewsbury Town to the League 1 Play-off final last year.
The Tractor Boys recruitment policy in the summer of bringing in inexperienced players at Championship level, who had performed reasonably well in League’s 1 and 2, to replace the likes of the experienced Martyn Waghorn, David McGoldrick and Joe Garner, has not worked out.
Ipswich’s new manager Paul Lambert will be looking to add players with Championship experience, and will also need to add a greater degree of quality at both ends of the pitch, if he has any chance of pulling off an unlikely escape from relegation in the remaining months of the season.
Ipswich have already brought in Simon Dawkins, who made 60 appearances in the Championship at Derby County in his three-year spell with The Rams, as well as bringing in Colin Quaner and Will Keane from Huddersfield Town and Hull City respectively, but more additions are needed before the deadline if they are to avoid dropping into the third tier.
Middlesbrough have had a solid season so far sitting in 5th place in the Championship table, six points off second placed Norwich City, but just four points clear of Nottingham Forest, Birmingham City and Queens Park Rangers, who currently occupy the three spots just bellow the Play-off places.
Tony Polis’ sides major strength this campaign has been their defence, which has seen them concede by far the least amount of goals in the division so far, with only 18 goals at least 10 fewer than any other side. However, they have struggled to both create and take opportunities having scored just 28 goals, ten fewer than any other team in the top six, and 26 fewer than Championship top scorers West Bromwich Albion.
Only four teams, who are all currently in the divisions bottom five places, have scored fewer than Middlesbrough, suggesting that Pulis’ side must strengthen their forward options in the window, if they are to secure their play-off place and challenge for promotion. There is a vital need for a creative wide player with a little pace and flair to add to the steel of Middlesbrough’s spine, whilst another centre forward may also be an ideal signing to add competition to both Jordan Hugill and Britt Assombalonga, who have both been in and out of the side in recent months.