Firpo binned for £21k-p/w signing in Leeds’ dream starting XI after January

Leeds United have around two weeks left to bolster their squad during the January transfer window ahead of the second half of the season.

The Whites are currently in the mix to secure a place in the top two to land automatic promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

However, as you can see in the table below, Daniel Farke’s side have a mountain to climb and it will take a huge effort to finish above their rivals to avoid the play-offs.

Current Championship top six (via Sofascore)



Matches played


















West Brom








The January transfer window has provided the club with an opportunity to improve their chances of promotion by adding more quality to the playing group.

With this in mind, here is a dream XI that Farke could select at the end of the month if the club are able to sign three of their reported targets over the next two weeks…

Illan Meslier


Starting off between the sticks, Illan Meslier could remain the club’s number one as there has not been much in the way of serious transfer speculation over his future or another goalkeeper coming in to take his place.

The French stopper has started 25 matches in the Championship so far this season and has kept nine clean sheets for the Whites in total.

Neco Williams


The first new signing could come at right-back. On The Square Ball Podcast, journalist Phil Hay revealed that Leeds are interested in Neco Williams, although it could be difficult to convince Nottingham Forest to part ways with him.

In his last season in the Championship – for Fulham in the 2021/22 campaign – the Wales international caught the eye with his sublime attacking play.

Williams ranked within the top 1% of full-backs in the division for progressive passes (6.42) and the top 2% for progressive carries (4.23) per 90.

In a dream scenario, Leeds will be able to land the Welsh dynamo and his arrival would free up Archie Gray to compete for a spot in the middle of the park.

Joe Rodon


At the heart of the defence, Joe Rodon’s place should not be in question. The on-loan Tottenham Hotspur titan has played 24 league games for the Whites and won an eye-catching 68% of his duels, which shows that the ace has been dominant in physical battles.

Pascal Struijk


Alongside the Wales international, Pascal Struijk is another player who should remain a first-choice for Farke heading into the second half of the campaign.

The Dutch colossus has captained the Whites when Liam Cooper has not been on the pitch this season and has formed a strong partnership with Rodon at the back.

Borna Barisic


The second dream signing of the window could come in the form of Rangers full-back Borna Barisic, who FootballScotland recently claimed is a target for Leeds.

Farke could ditch Junior Firpo from the starting XI with a deal to sign the Croatia international, who could provide more at both ends of the pitch.

As you can see in the table above, the £21k-per-week Light Blues whiz, who also created 12 ‘big chances’ and made 2.3 key passes per game during the 2022/23 league season, can offer over twice as much creativity per match whilst also being far more effective in individual duels.

Therefore, the head coach could bench the former Barcelona man to improve his side from a defensive and offensive perspective by snapping Barisic up from the Scottish giants.

Ethan Ampadu


The central midfield pairing does not need tinkering with. Ethan Ampadu, who joined from Chelsea on a permanent deal last summer, has started 27 league matches for the Whites this season and averaged 7.2 ball recoveries per game for his side.

Glen Kamara


Alongside the Welsh enforcer, Glen Kamara should still be a key player for Leeds. He is a midfield metronome with his phenomenal passing ability, which is illustrated by his superb pass success rate of 92.5% – placing him within the top 2% of Championship midfielders this season.

Dan James


On the right side of the attack, Farke should continue to place his faith in former Swansea and Manchester United winger Dan James, who has been in fantastic form with nine goals and five assists in the second tier.

He has created ten ‘big chances’ for his teammates so far this season and has only been rewarded with five Championship assists, which suggests that his fellow attackers have let him down at times.

David Brooks


The third dream signing that could be made this month is Bournemouth attacking midfielder David Brooks – once described as a “creative spark” by journalist Josh Bunting.

Reporter Alex Crook recently told GIVEMESPORT that Leeds are interested in a deal for the Wales international, who could be on the move before the end of the month.

In his last full season in the second tier, the 26-year-old whiz ranked within the top 15% of Championship attacking midfielders and wingers for Expected Assisted Goals (0.21) and progressive passes (4.36) per 90 during the 2020/21 campaign.

Joel Piroe has been deployed as a number ten this term and currently ranks within the bottom 10% of attacking midfielders and wingers in the division for xAG (0.06) per 90 and the bottom 44% for progressive passes (3.45) per 90.

This suggests that Farke could land a natural number ten who is able to create high-quality opportunities and progress the play at an impressive rate, in comparison to Piroe.

Crysencio Summerville


Crysencio Summerville’s position in a dream XI for Leeds does not need much explaining. The Dutch whiz has chipped in with 12 goals and seven assists in 24 league appearances this season.

Georginio Rutter


Finally, Georginio Rutter could complete the dream line-up at the top end of the pitch. The 21-year-old magician has produced five goals, nine assists, and 18 ‘big chances’ created in 26 league matches for the Whites so far this term, which highlights his immense creative powers.

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