By Jonty Banks

30th Dec, 2022 | 9:40pm

Leeds United and Newcastle differing fortunes in 2022 outline the impact of shrewd investment

The facts are pretty damning for Leeds United when comparing their 2022 points tally to Premier League high-flyers Newcastle United – but they must take note of the shrewd recruitment that has taken place on Tyneside as January approaches.

The Whites are set to round off their calendar year with a trip to St James’ Park on Saturday (31 December) and look to move clear of the relegation zone, which they sit just two points above.

Both sides have experienced differing fortunes this Premier League season, with Eddie Howe’s side third in the table on 33 points – 18 clear of the Whites. The stats are even plainer to see when accumulating the overall points secured since the two sides met back in January 2022.

Since Marcelo Bielsa’s side succumbed to a 1-0 loss on January 22, Leeds have picked up 31 points from their 31 Premier League matches, while Newcastle have secured 67 from 33 games. [Leeds Live]

Now when looking at the squads of the two Premier League sides, there isn’t that much difference in quality, but Eddie Howe’s side now look well-balanced and well-rounded after two windows of solid recruitment.

Signings such as Kieran Trippier and Dan Burn in January may not have been glamorous, but have repaid their fees tenfold after forming one of the fiercest back-lines in the league. Further acquisitions of Nick Pope and Chris Wood in the summer weren’t the glitzy names many expected the club to sign, but they gave Howe an abundance of options to play with.

Victor Orta and Leeds must take note of Newcastle’s shrewd recruitment – especially in January – and look to instil this in the upcoming transfer window. Although Leeds may not have the money of Newcastle, they don’t need to spend huge sums to resolve their issues.

In many fans’ opinions, the January transfer window could well be another Groundhog Day, with the club still searching for a top-class centre-forward and a left-back.

Despite knowing they were short in both departments in the summer, Orta didn’t supply Marsch with the relevant signings, and the American’s struggles since don’t come as a surprise.

Leeds possess a squad brimming with talent, but they must fill these two crucial positions if they are to experience the kind of bounce that Newcastle fans have witnessed over the last 12 months.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay reacted to Andrea Radrizzani’s exit comments with news on the 49ers.