Leeds target Fran Merida makes it three goals in two appearances in Osasuna defeat

Leeds United manager Thomas Christiansen during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Leeds United at Griffin Park on November 4, 2017 in Brentford, England.

Leeds United may well have been impressed by the recent goalscoring exploits of reported target Fran Merida.

Fran Merida of SC Braga in action during the Liga Portugal match between SC Braga and CD Nacional at the Estadio Municipal de Braga on September 25, 2011 in Braga,Portugal.

According to a report from the Daily Mail back in September, Leeds had their eye on Osasuna midfielder Fran Merida as the Championship side looked for potential targets that were going to help them capitalise on their promising position in the second tier.

Merida has endured a mixed season in the Spanish Second Division to date, already serving two suspensions - one for collecting five yellow cards and one for a red card he picked up in October - but his latest performance would have surely provided more of a hint as to why the Whites are keen to hand the former Arsenal midfielder the chance to return to England.

Leeds United manager Thomas Christiansen during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Leeds United at Griffin Park on November 4, 2017 in Brentford, England.

Merida scored twice in Osasuna's 3-2 home defeat to Alcorcon at the weekend, meaning that the combative midfielder has scored three goals in his last two appearances.

If Victor Orta still has the 27-year-old on his radar with little more than a month until the January transfer window opens - he may have perhaps moved on from considering a move - then he would have surely been impressed by his attacking contribution in the game, even if he ended up on the losing side.

Britt Assombalonga of Middlesbrough holds off a challenge from Ronaldo Vieira of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Middlesbrough at Elland Road on...

But perhaps there is a good argument to be made that Leeds simply do not need to sign Merida in January, regardless of how good his form is.

Ronaldo Vieira and Kalvin Phillips were excellent against Middlesbrough at the weekend, helping Leeds secure a 2-1 win against Garry Monk's side that takes them back to the cusp of the play-off places in the Championship. 

The pair's performance just hinted that they could be the future central midfield partnership for the Whites, and it is not like the side have not got plenty of depth behind them in the pecking order. 

Eunan O'Kane was instrumental in their early season form but was not missed against Boro before he came on, while Mateusz Klich is also waiting in the wings, and given Merida's disciplinary record this season, it may be a bigger gamble to make a move - even if he is now scoring goals. 

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