Have Leeds missed a trick as Aston Villa loan out Tommy Elphick?

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 has left Aston Villa for Championship rivals Reading, but why did Leeds United not act on their initial interest.

Tommy Elphick of Villa in action during the pre- season friendly between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough at Villa Park on July 30, 2016 in Birmingham, England.

Just a week after the Sun (23 January, page 55) reported that Leeds United were hoping to sign Aston Villa defender Tommy Elphick for £2.5 million, the experienced centre-back has gone to a Championship rival for absolutely nothing.

Reading have picked up the out-of-favour defender on loan until the end of the season. And if Elphick can find the sort of form that saw him lift the Championship title as Bournemouth captain in 2015, his arrival could be a major boost to the Royals’ hopes of avoiding a relegation dogfight.

But Leeds fans would be right to question why their side did not go all out to sign Elphick while they could. Owner Andrea Radrizzani remains seemingly unwilling to spend big but a cheap, £2.5 million deal for a proven Championship performer looked to tick a lot of boxes.

Andrea Radrizzani, Owner of Leeds United looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Leeds United at Ashton Gate on October 21, 2017 in Bristol, England.

Leeds’ defence is a little thin on the ground, too, with Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson hardly strangers to suspensions and Matthew Pennington struggling with injury since moving to Elland Road on loan from Everton.

And it seemed the Leeds faithful were more than happy with the idea of Elphick moving to West Yorkshire.

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...

But with Elphick now heading to the Madejski Stadium instead, there is a nagging feeling that Leeds may once again pay for their failure to act in the transfer market.

After all, it is just a year since Leeds neglected to bring in quality additions and eventually missed out on the play-offs. The same simply cannot happen again.

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