Leeds United spent a large bulk of the summer transfer window restructuring their playing squad to prepare for the 2023/24 Championship campaign.
German head coach Daniel Farke was brought in to bolster their attempts to win promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, having won two titles at this level with Norwich City.
The Whites boss saw a number of first-team players move on from Elland Road as the likes of Tyler Adams, Rodrigo, Jack Harrison, Robin Koch, and Max Wober, among others, left permanently or on loan.
These exits, however, provided the club with an opportunity to refresh their squad with new signings and they decided to bring in nine new players.
Leeds’ 2023 summer signings
Type of deal
As you can see in the table above, Farke bolstered his side with some impressive additions and they have helped Leeds to third in the Championship after 15 matches.
However, the Whites are eight points off Ipswich Town in second place and the head coach could look to the January transfer window to give his team a push during the second half of the season in order to secure an automatic promotion place by the end of the campaign.
With this in mind, the German tactician should look to reignite the club’s previous interest in Chile international Ben Brereton Diaz, who could come in as an upgrade on Patrick Bamford.
Leeds United transfer news – Ben Brereton Diaz
It was recently reported by TEAMtalk that Villarreal are now prepared to send the talented forward out on loan for the second half of the 2023/24 campaign.
The outlet claimed that a number of English sides are keeping tabs on his situation as they consider a 2024 swoop for his services; including Crystal Palace, Burnley, Leicester, Southampton, and West Brom.
Villarreal snapped him up on a free transfer from Championship side Blackburn Rovers during the summer transfer window, which came as a blow to Leeds.
The Daily Mail claimed, last year, that the Whites remained keen on a deal to sign Brereton Diaz on a free transfer in 2023 if they were not beaten to his signature by another club.
However, Villarreal – who were also mentioned in that report – were able to secure a deal for his services at the end of the 2022/23 campaign.
Ben Brereton’s goal record for Villarreal
The move to Spain has not worked out well for the English-born whiz as he has struggled to provide quality in attack throughout the current season.
Brereton Diaz has racked up ten appearances in all competitions for the Spanish side and is yet to contribute with his first goal or assist for his new club.
He has only started two of his eight appearances in LaLiga and has not scored a goal or created a single ‘big chance’ for his teammates in that time, with zero goals from 0.11 xG.
The 24-year-old dynamo has seemingly not been able to adapt to football in Spain and Villarreal are now prepared to move him on in January, at least for the second half of the campaign.
This provides Leeds with a perfect opportunity to reignite their previous interest in Brereton Diaz to secure a loan deal, as he is a proven Championship performer who could improve the squad.
Angus Kinnear has already revealed that the club left vacant loan spots available to use in the January transfer window if Farke decides that he wants to bolster his squad.
Brereton Diaz’s Championship record
The exciting attacker produced 53 goals and 21 assists in 213 Championship matches throughout his time with Nottingham Forest and Blackburn.
He really hit his stride during his final two seasons at Ewood Park with an impressive return of 36 goals and seven assists across 80 league games during the 2021/22 and 2022/23 campaigns combined.
Last season, Brereton Diaz, who was once dubbed an “extraordinary” talent by ex-boss Tony Mowbray, scored 14 and assisted four in 49 league starts. That came after his phenomenal return of 22 goals and three assists in 37 Championship starts during the 2021/22 campaign.
The £33k-per-week ace proved over those two seasons that he has the quality to provide a consistent attacking threat, through goals and assists, as a versatile forward who can play in a multitude of positions in the final third.
Bamford’s statistics this season
Meanwhile, Bamford has struggled badly in front of goal since the start of last season and has not shown any signs of being up to the task of leading the line for Leeds in their bid to win promotion.
The former England international has produced zero goals and zero assists in seven Championship appearances so far this season, which shows that he has had similar struggles to Brereton Diaz this term.
However, the Villarreal man’s aforementioned 0.11 xG suggests that the opportunities have not been there for him to find the back of the net. Whereas, Bamford has missed a penalty and accumulated 1.16 xG for the Whites.
The Leeds number nine also scored four goals from an xG of 8.61 across 28 Premier League appearances for the Yorkshire-based side during the 2022/23 campaign.
These statistics show that the misfiring Englishman has woefully underperformed in front of goal over the last 18 months or so, which means that Georgino Rutter and Joel Piroe do not have any significant competition for their respective places in the team.
Piroe has one goal in his last seven games but Bamford’s struggles at the top end of the pitch do not suggest that Farke would be better off by ditching the Dutchman in favour of the former Chelsea prospect.
Whereas, Brereton Diaz’s Championship record for Blackburn over his last two seasons in England suggests that he would be a significant upgrade on the English dud and would provide Leeds’ current forwards with real competition for a starting spot, whilst also being a fantastic option to bring off the bench or to rotate when needed.