leeds defence made up with mariusBack
Those giddy days of summer are back, as Leeds United have made their second signing in the space of a week.
Back at the start of July Luke Murphy and Noel Hunt signed within a couple of days of each other, and now Dexter Blackstock’s arrival on loan has been followed swiftly by the signing of Marius Žaliūkas.
The former Hearts captain is a Lithuanian international, but has been without a club since Hearts couldn’t afford to offer him a new contract in the summer. The Rangers of both Glasgow and Shepherd’s Bush have had a look at him, with Harry Redknapp apparently still moderately interested maybe just for the sake of it; but a trial at Leeds has been followed by a contract offer and it has been announced this morning Marius has signed up.
The defender will add experience to a young group of centre backs, and may find he has more opportunities now Leeds have begun playing with three. Lees, Pearce and Wootton combined to give United their first clean sheet in a month against Birmingham, after conceding in six games in a row, but with Jason Pearce the oldest of the three at 25, 29 year old Žaliūkas’ experience will be valuable in helping them through the rest of the season.
Žaliūkas has been given a contract to the end of the season, and the videos, photos and gifs I mustered when he arrived on trial suggest he could be an influential personality at Leeds. The contract gives him an advantage over Blackstock, who as I wrote this morning, has just 15 chances to prove his worth – if he can get Matt Smith out of the team.
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