Should Leeds United overlook Tommy Elphick's Aston Villa struggles in January window?

Leeds fans celebrate their team's victory during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Derby County at Elland Road on November 29, 2014 in Leeds, England.

Tommy Elphick's disastrous spell at Aston Villa must surely end soon - but Leeds United have a decision to make in January.

Villa defender Tommy Elphick in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St James' Park on February 20, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Tommy Elphick wasn’t short of options to leave Aston Villa in the summer. Eventually, however, the 30-year-old stayed in the Midlands, most likely with the idea of fighting for his place in Steve Bruce’s starting XI.

But it doesn’t take a genius to work out he is fighting a losing battle. Villa boss Steve Bruce is clearly not a fan of Elphick, a £3 million signing from Bournemouth during Roberto Di Matteo’s short-lived reign, per the BBC.

And so far this season, Elphick has featured just twice for Villa’s first-team, both coming in the EFL Cup, and has not made a single appearance since being sent off in the 2-0 third round home defeat to Middlesbrough back in September.

Tommy Elphick of Aston Villa and Sone Aluko of Fulham in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Aston Villa at Craven Cottage on April 17, 2017 in London, England.

But if Villa are to make the centre-back available in January as they aim to sell in order to fund new additions, Leeds United should not be put off by Elphick’s continued struggles in the Black Country.

The Birmingham Mail claimed that Leeds, as well as Sunderland and Birmingham City, were one of the clubs interested in handing him a lifeline in the summer after a difficult debut season in claret and blue.

Tommy Elphick of Bournemouth lifts the trophy while Bournemouth players celebrate winning the Championship after the Sky Bet Championship match between Charlton Athletic and AFC...

And Leeds’ lack of quality depth at centre-half means Elphick should come into consideration once again. While his reputation has suffered badly at Villa, it must be remembered that Elphick captained Bournemouth to promotion from the Championship back in 2015 and is the sort of proven, second tier performer that Leeds fans are crying out for.

A January deal, then, would still make perfect sense – even if Elphick currently looks a shadow of the player who marshalled that Bournemouth backline. If Elphick can find his form again, there are few better defenders at this level.

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