Leeds United's failure to replace Nottingham Forest's Liam Bridcutt proving costly

Paul Heckingbottom Leeds manager gestures during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Leeds United at iPro Stadium on February 21, 2018 in Derby, England.

Leeds United sold Liam Bridcutt to Championship rivals Nottingham Forest during the summer transfer window for just £1 million.

Liam Bridcutt of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match between Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest at Portman Road on December 2, 2017 in Ipswich, England.

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.

Liam Bridcutt of Leeds United uring the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Derby County at Elland Road on January 13, 2017 in Leeds, England.

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.

Adam Forshaw of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Hull City and Leeds United at the KCOM Stadium on January 30, 2018 in Hull, England.

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.

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