Phil Hay has claimed that Leeds United were close to signing an international defender in January who has since moved elsewhere.
Leeds sign Connor Roberts
The Whites cut short Djed Spence’s loan spell from Tottenham last month, while also allowing Luke Ayling to head to Middlesbrough for the remainder of the season. That left Daniel Farke with hybrid right-back options in Archie Gray, Sam Byram and Jamie Shackleton.
However, on deadline day, Leeds managed to secure the services of Burnley right-back Connor Roberts until the end of the season.
The Wales international already appears to have his eyes on a potential permanent Elland Road deal, with Roberts saying “Football’s a funny game, so I’ll be doing my very best to make a good impression on and off the pitch and maybe in the future it can change from the straight loan but yeah, at the moment it’s just come here try and help on and off the pitch.
“The aim is to get promoted and whether that means me playing half the games, all the games, only a few games, it doesn’t really bother me. I just want to want to be smiling with the rest of the lads come the end of the season.”
However, before Roberts arrived, it appears as if Leeds were close to signing a different defender.
Leeds were close to signing versatile defender
Hay shared a recap of Leeds’ January transfer business in a detailed round-up for The Athletic on Friday, including how Spence turned up late for the meeting where he found out his loan spell was being cut short.
In his report, the reliable Leeds journalist said that the club were close to signing Daiki Hashioka, who has since moved to England with Luton Town, with the Whites even going as far as drawing up the necessary paperwork.
“Earlier in the window, Leeds believed they were close to the signing of Japan international right-back Daiki Hashioka and had begun drawing up paperwork, only to swerve away from the 24-year-old after he picked up an ankle injury playing for Belgian side Sint-Truiden. The injury was minor but Leeds suspected there was a risk of a recurrence, clearing the way for Luton Town to take him for just under £2million ($2.5m).”
After joining Luton, manager Rob Edwards was quick to praise Hashioka, saying: “‘Hashi’ is a versatile defender who can play anywhere along the backline and, having met him I know he’s going to fit into the group really, really well.
“He’s got a great attitude and has a real desire to come and play for Luton Town. He understands we’ve got a good squad, and knows he’s got to fight for his opportunity. And he will – he’s really looking forward to the challenge of being here. He’s someone who is comfortable in possession, aggressive, and wants to defend. I’m delighted he’s with us.”
It is a case of what if for Leeds and Hashioka, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fares in the top-flight, especially if Leeds are up there with him next year.