Over six months after Leeds United sold Liam Bridcutt to Nottingham Forest, the decision to let the tenacious midfielder go continues to look like a bad one.
The former Sunderland midfielder, who moved to Elland Road on a permanent deal just one year before his departure, was a key player as Garry Monk’s side came so close to a place in the play-offs last season.
Bridcutt added an element of pragmatism and protection to the Whites’ defence and even proved an impressive captain due to his wealth of Championship experience. These, however, are three elements that Leeds have missed ever since.
Getting £1 million for Bridcutt, per the Nottingham Post, might have looked like decent business to some but failing to replace the 28-year-old with a like-for-like defensive midfielder has proven to be nothing short of baffling.
Leeds have a number of options in central midfield but no ball-winning specialists like Bridcutt. Eunan O’Kane, Ronaldo Vieira, Kalvin Phillips and £4.5 million January signing Adam Forshaw all perhaps fall into the ‘jack of all trades’ category.
Forshaw, who swapped Middlesbrough for West Yorkshire midway through this season, has his qualities but does not appear to offer a whole lot of traits that Leeds were previously lacking in the centre of the park.
For £4.5 million, surely Leeds would have been better off buying a midfielder capable of protecting a weak-looking defence. Successive 3-0 thrashings at Middlesbrough and Wolves, which leaves Leeds’ 13th and having conceded 49 times already this season, suggests as much.