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.
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.
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.