Gabriel Agbonlaor has bizarrely claimed Leeds United should look to sign an out-of-favour Manchester United star as cover and competition for Kalvin Phillips.
The homegrown Leeds midfielder was forced to sit out through suspension at the weekend against Brighton. His absence was badly felt too as the Seagulls claimed a 1-0 win at Elland Road through a Neal Maupay goal.
With Phillips absent, Leeds selected Pascal Struijk as a holding central midfielder. However, the Dutchman does not have the same array of passing or vision as Phillips and struggled in the role. In his defence, Struijk has done well as a centre-half when called upon this season.
Indeed, Leeds’ lack of competition in midfield is something of a concern for supporters. Marcelo Bielsa, of course, had his own theory for their lame display against Brighton.
However, Agbonlahor – who has something of a strained relationship with Leeds fans – has another man in mind.
Assessing their lack of midfield options, Agbonlahor has told Leeds to sign Manchester United man Jesse Lingard.
“You can’t rely on one player [Phillips],” Agbonlahor told talkSPORT. “You have to have someone that can fill in, so you’d have to look in the transfer window. Watching the midfield today, you got outrun.
“Struijk wasn’t very good for me. I’ll throw a name out there that you might agree with, or not. Jesse Lingard, I feel like he could be a good addition to the Leeds squad – get him on loan for six months.”
Lingard is expected to leave Old Trafford this month. However, the former England man has made his name in the game as an attacking midfielder. That factor alone makes Agbonlahor’s suggestion look slightly foolish.
Lingard has held talks with both Ligue 1 Nice and Sheffield United as he looks to get his flatering career back on track.
Beckford shocked by Leeds lethargy
Jermaine Beckford, meanwhile, admits he was surprised at Leeds’ performance against Brighton given their two successive defeats coming into the match.
The Whites were expected to show a response against the Seagulls following 3-0 losses to Tottenham and Crawley.
However, Leeds looked lethargic against the Seagulls, especially in the first half, and Beckford was surprised.
Speaking on Sky Sports, pundit Beckford struggled to explain his former side’s sluggish display.
“If I’m honest, no,” the ex-striker said when asked if he knew the reason behind the performance. “It was quite surprising, especially after the performance at Crawley.
“I expected to see every one of the players on the front foot, really pushing themselves to the limit. I hoped for a performance that we’re used to seeing from Leeds United.
“In your face, up front, energetic, but we didn’t see that today. Although Leeds dominated possession it almost looked like the Leeds players looked lethargic. That is a little bit concerning if I’m honest.”