Leeds need winger, legendary free agent wants a club: Why the strangest signing of the season should be considered

Pires Henry Penalty Discussion

Could Leeds do worse than offer Arsenal legend Robert Pires a trial at the club?

Leeds United's lack of width was once again badly exposed at the weekend, electing to play striker Billy Sharp out wide leaving an unbalanced team, which lost at home to Brentford.

The need for a winger, particularly a left-sided one, is a point repeatedly discussed by manager Neil Redfearn, who admitted once again this week he is exploring his options. 

If he really wants an option out of leftfield, what about a Premier League legend who is currently looking for a new club?

The Mirror reported this weekend that former Arsenal hero Robert Pires is searching for a new side at the age of 41, recently having trained with the Gunners first team and believing his fitness is of a high standard.

He is quoted: "I will see what offers come to me in regards of doing for a little bit longer what I love most: playing football."

Pires most recently played in the Indian Super League at the end of 2014, featuring in eight matches and scoring once. He should however be under no illusions as to the step up required to play football in the Championship, especially at his age.

He told ESPN last month: "I don't have the legs any more, that's for sure. But my vision, anticipation, my passing and precision are still there.

"I haven't put on a gram of fat. I still keep myself in shape. I train regularly with Arsenal thanks to Arsene Wenger, or by myself. I play five-a-side or eight-a-side with friends. I love football too much."

Given his talent and experience however, what is the worst that could happen if Leeds invited him along for a trial? Even his presence at the training ground would give the players a lift, and as an impact player he would add balance to the team and give opposition defences further pause for though based on reputation alone.

If they get Pires in for a trial, and he doesn't look up to scratch, then move on, but considering his talent, would the club be remiss simply to take a look, considering what he has previously achieved in the game?

This move, at the Frenchman's age, and Redfearn's desire for players able to beat a defender, does not make as much sense as the simple option of recalling the in-form Nicky Ajose from Crewe, but the midfielder's ability to place a pinpoint pass could help get the best out of physical strikers Steve Morison and Edgar Cani.

While ultimately an unlikely solution, if Neil Redfearn is frustrated in his attempts to sign his top targets on loan, outside the box free agent additions will become his only option.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch