Leeds United appointed German tactician Daniel Farke in the summer with the hopes of bouncing straight back to the Premier League.
The 47-year-old, who recorded two promotions on his CV during his time with Norwich City, knows what it takes to propel a team out of the second tier.
In the summer, he was armed with the resources to overhaul his squad and mould it into his swashbuckling style as high earners Rodrigo, Jack Harrison, Max Wober, Robin Koch, and Luis Sinisterra were among those to depart, either permanently or on loan, which opened the door for new arrivals.
Jaidon Anthony, Ilia Gruev, Djed Spence, Joel Piroe, Joe Rodon, Glen Kamara, Sam Byram, Karl Darlow, and Ethan Ampadu were all snapped up to improve their chances of promotion.
With the Whites currently sitting third in the table, eight points behind the automatic promotion spots, it appears their business has had a positive impact.
Given the transfer window fast approaching, however, Leeds could make a few tweaks that will give them every chance of achieving their ultimate goal.
The first piece of business through the door could be Nadiem Amiri.
Leeds United transfer news – Nadiem Amiri
While nine signings arrived in a chaotic summer at Elland Road, Leeds could have added a tenth if they didn’t miss out on Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder Nadiem Amiri.
According to Kicker in Germany, the West Yorkshire giants had agreed a £5m (€6m) deal with the Bundesliga outfit to bring him to the club in August.
Despite agreeing on a fee, there was another twist in the tale as Sky Deutschland reporter Marlon Irlbacher claimed that Amiri and Leeds failed to agree terms.
Per reports, the failure to capture the 27-year-old stemmed from an apparent exit clause he wanted in the deal, allowing him to move on next summer if promotion was not secured.
After seeing a string of players leave the club in the wake of similar clauses, Farke refused to meet the request and a deal broke down.
As relayed by TEAMtalk earlier this month, the Whites could go back in for Amiri – who has accepted his career at Leverkusen is as good as over – and the report suggests he’s ‘aiming for a move’ in January with just six months left on his deal.
With this in mind, Leeds could reignite interest in the midfield maestro and snap him up on a cut-price deal to provide competition to Joel Piroe.
How Nadiem Amiri compares to Joel Piroe
Since his arrival from Swansea City, Piroe has been utilised by Farke in a number ten role, dropping deeper to feed the talented Georginio Rutter in behind.
The Dutch dynamo, who scored 20 goals for the Swans last term, is a clinical finisher by trade but he’s been moulded into a more creative asset in this Leeds side.
While he’s still bagged a respectable six goals in 16 Championship appearances this term, a move for Amiri could see his place sacrificed in the team, given the German’s technical qualities.
|Nadiem Amiri vs Joel Piroe’s creative per 90 statistics in the past year|
|Statistic||Nadiem Amiri||Joel Piroe|
|Carries into the penalty area||0.43||0.55|
|All stats via FBref|
Although those stats could be skewed considering Piroe predominantly played as a striker for Swansea, the table still demonstrates that Amiri – who was lauded for his “excellent acceleration” by journalist Dougie Critchley – could be the missing piece to their puzzle in the final third, offering better quality of passes, progressive passes while beating his man on more occasions.
There are fine margins between finishing in the play-offs and earning automatic promotion out of the Championship, and it’s the finer details – like signing Amiri – that could make all the difference come May.