Leeds United have suffered another injury blow as Luke Ayling has been ruled out for two months with a knee injury, which he suffered in the 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest - and Marcelo Bielsa has to take action.
Ayling, 27, has missed just one Championship outing this season, with suspension preventing him from facing Blackburn Rovers after the recent international break.
But he was withdrawn after 25 minutes against Forest on Saturday evening and Bielsa is now low in options in defence with Gaetano Berardi and Barry Douglas still injured.
Stuart Dallas was forced to play at right-back against Forest, but the Northern Ireland international is left-footed and recognised more as a winger. Lewie Coyle remains on loan at Fleetwood Town.
Jamie Shackleton has been used at right-back though the Thorp Arch academy product is naturally a midfielder and his inexperience should convince Bielsa to bring in a free agent on a short-term deal.
If the Argentine boss does indeed look to make a signing on a free, 2004-05 Premier League winner Glen Johnson is the obvious candidate after the 34-year-old's contract at Stoke City expired in the summer.
The former England international remains without a club with little talk over a move for the former Liverpool, West Ham United and Chelsea defender.
Leeds are lacking in depth in defence and the Championship fixture list continues to come thick and fast. To prevent putting square pegs in round holes, Johnson should be brought in on a free until the end of the season to provide cover.
Giving Johnson a deal until the end of the season would provide the Whites with the cover required on the right side of defence to ease Bielsa's woes, while his experience would give Leeds a boost in their promotion hunt.
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