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Exclusive: Couzens talks Leeds' lack of January activity, Casilla and the player that can play for any PL side

Leeds United chose not to pursue any signings in the January transfer window despite being inevitably linked with the likes of Udinese captain Rodrigo De Paul, Fiorentina ace Erick Pulgar and plenty more – but it is a decision that has hardly affected form on the pitch. But Andy Couzens has told LeedsUnited.News that he would have liked a couple of additions – as well as discussing Kiko Casilla’s future.

The Whites might have needed signings in a couple of areas. The left-back slot for example, sees Gjanni Alioski remain first choice – while Stuart Dallas continues to cover missing teammates. Alioski, though, is in the last six months of his contract and Dallas is clearly needed as a utility player to fill the gaps. He is currently plugging the void left by the injured Rodrigo.

Indeed, cover for Mateusz Klich might have been looked at, too. While many called for a replacement for Illan Meslier as Kiko Casilla is struggling to provide adequate cover – especially after his two horrendous mistakes in the 3-0 FA Cup defeat to League Two side Crawley Town. Some have even suggested that a striker might be good, given the lack of cover for Patrick Bamford as Rodrigo operates in midfield.

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However, no signings were made. It has not affected form – Leeds have won three out of their last four Premier League matches, lastly coming in the form of a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. Ex-Leeds midfielder Couzens has claimed he would have liked a goalkeeper to provide competition for Meslier as he thinks Casilla’s “time is up” at Elland Road. Couzens also wanted a defender, but thinks Pascal Struijk has taken on that mantle – while claiming Kalvin Phillips can play for any side in the Premier League.

“I would’ve liked another goalkeeper to be pushing Meslier,” Couzens told LeedsUnited.News. “I think Kiko’s time is up, I have to say. He is on big money, that’s the problem. Also, I would’ve liked – we do have a problem at centre-half – but now Pascal has come in and taken that spot. We do need to look at it anymore. It is always nice to have someone come in. It depends if they get in the team, if they don’t – they won’t be happy.

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“We don’t need a bad egg, if they’re not playing then you’re not happy. We have a good, young team. In the summer, we will have a few that are brought in and some that leave. Football is a revolving door. If we’re looking at signings, we need to get Marcelo signed up and get Raphinha onto a new contract – we did it with Kalvin, he could have gone for more money. He can get in any team in the Premier League, so to keep him was a massive coup.”

The summer, though, is likely to promise new additions – as Couzens says. The Athletic claim Brest left-back Romain Perraud could be target as the French ace continues to shine in Ligue 1. The club’s last signing from the top tier of French football certainly provided to be a bargain – in the form of the £17million capture of Brazilian attacker Raphinha from Rennes.

Another midfielder to provide competition for Klich, Rodrigo, Jamie Shackleton and others could also be brought in – if Marcelo Bielsa decides that Adam Forshaw is not up to returning to action at Leeds. Cover at right-back, up front and another Phillips-like midfielder might also be considered by Victor Orta and the Leeds hierarchy. Time will tell.

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