Leeds United have been hit with a defensive crisis ahead of their Premier League clash with West Ham on Friday evening.

Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed that Robin Koch and Diego Llorente have both been ruled out for the Whites with injuries picked up against Chelsea.

Koch has undergone surgery on a knee problem and will be out until spring. Llorente will be out for another two-to-three weeks.

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Bielsa was questioned on whether or not the Whites will be targeting another defender in the January market, and he delivered an interesting update.

Phil Hay shared the news on his personal Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon.

Leeds will not be entering the window for another defender, and are hopeful that Gaetano Berardi will be back from his long-term injury in February.

Luke Ayling will be playing central defence on Friday, and it will be Pascal Struijk as the back-up option on the bench.

The Dutch youngster has proved that he can cut it in the Premier League with his performances against the likes of Liverpool.

Having Berardi back in February would be a massive boost.

After going in for surgery on his ACL last season, it was looking like the Swiss enforcer would only be back for the final month of this campaign.

To have someone with the experience and passion of Berardi in training and the dressing room every week for the final three months of the campaign would be massive.

Bielsa had given Berardi a temporary coaching role during his rehabilitation, so he has still been with the squad this year – something that will benefit the Whites in the long run.

Having the defender back could also save Leeds a huge chunk of money to use elsewhere on the squad as they look to cement their spot in the Premier League.

In other Leeds United news, Whites launch bid for this midfield ‘diamond’, club responds

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