Why signing Mike Williamson would be a huge mistake for Leeds United

The Newcastle United defender is reportedly on Leeds' shortlist.

According to the Daily Mirror, Leeds United are targeting a big-name signing in defence - and see Newcastle's Mike Williamson as an option.

Now, there are big names in football - and there are the wrong ones.

Indeed, Williamson had a poor season at Newcastle, a side who produced relegation form for months on end, last term. And, if that's the kind of player Leeds are aiming for, it's a questionable transfer policy to say the least.

When John Carver's departure from St James' Park was announced on Tuesday afternoon, plenty of Newcastle fans on Twitter were asking if Williamson could join him...

 2014/15 (Per Game) TacklesInterceptionsClearancesHeadersAppearancesMinutes Played
Daryl Janmaat 2.08 2.11 2.59 0.92 37 3,254
Sol Bamba 2.05 4 8.58 4 19 1,710
Giuseppe Bellusci 1.9 3.27 7.57 1.97 30 2,586
Fabricio Coloccini 1.53 2.13 5.28 1.78 32 2,837
Liam Cooper 1.38 2.62 7.48 3.17 29 2,317
Michael Williamson 0.81 1.35 5.81 3.16 31 2,415

As Opta stats show, Williamson performed worse than all three of Leeds' main centre-backs in key areas last season.

But, for context, the 31-year-old was also outshone statistically by the much-criticised Fabricio Coloccini (showing his stats aren't just worse because he was in the Premier League and not the Championship).

The argument that he could do better for Leeds as they are a division lower than the Magpies is the only one that makes signing Williamson worthwhile at all. But that's a pretty big gamble to base signing a defender who's been badly out of form for a couple of years on.

Why not go for a player proven in the Championship over the last two campaigns? Or at least a better one if the target has to be a 'big name' - the Mirror also suggest Gareth McAuley, for instance...

Leeds have made a new offer to keep Sol Bamba at Elland Road and that very much looks like a done deal. Whichever way those contract talks may or may not have gone, though, signing Newcastle's Williamson would be a huge mistake. The defender just wouldn't add anything to the Yorkshire side.

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