It’s a happier than usual new year for Leeds United, primarily because the transfer window opens without fear of losing key players and with the distinct possibility of signing new ones.

Already this morning The Whites have been linked with moves for QPR duo Clint Hill and Shaun Derry while the usual rumours of key players leaving are notably lacking.

Top of Neil Warnock’s agenda this morning will be to secure longer stays for the loan signings he brought in when GFH’s takeover of the club was confirmed. The Leeds United manager has spent the last month playing down suggestions Leeds will be making some big moves once the window opens, but has admitted he’d like to sign a new striker.

Poor performances against Nottingham Forest and Hull City over the Christmas period reaffirmed the belief amongst Leeds United fans that reinforcements are desperately needed if the club are to secure a long-overdue promotion back to Premier League.

However, Neil Warnock would be wise to tread cautiously, after all, for every Luis Suarez there are ten Zoran Tosics; “Zoran who?” I hear you ask – he was the £7m winger Manchester United signed in 2009, never to be heard from again.

Tosic serves as a cautionary tale of transfer windows past. The problem with the system introduced to English football ten years ago is that it promotes panic-buying. It’s 30 days of chaos in which managers scramble to prepare their squads for a grueling 4 month finale, never certain of how they’ll stand when the window draws to a close.

Despite the potential for panic-buying, it’ll come as no surprise to most football fans that almost four times more money is spent in the summer. The reality is, for all the hype and expectation of January, squads are rebuilt during close-season, rarely midway through it.

It may be an uncomfortable truth for Leeds United fans, but Neil Warnock is unlikely to deviate from that script. He’s been in the game long enough to know that January isn’t a buyers market, clubs are so desperate to retain their best performing players that prices multiply and the only ones available at a reasonable fee are unwanted outcasts.

With that in mind, few managers will be looking for major reinforcements. Instead, most will see January as an opportunity to tweak their squads, to bring in cover for injured and under-performing players or to find replacements for those heading elsewhere.

Glamorous, “statement of intent” signings are unlikely. What we’re more likely to see is a couple of additional players brought in from the fringes of Premier League teams. The likes of Shaun Derry and Clint Hill fit into that category, though it is the most regurgitated rumour of the last 12 months so fans can forgiven if they treat it with some amount of scepticism.

Whatever happens over the next 31 days, you can guarantee the volume of rumour will massively outweigh the number of signings Leeds United secure. The big test for GFH isn’t how much money they can throw at the squad to try and appease the frustrations of Leeds United’s supporters, the big test is how they handle themselves in a situation so conducive to outright madness.

If Neil Warnock has highlighted potential signings available for a reasonable fee then GFH must deliver. But the priority should be looking after and securing the quality players we already have, while the biggest test for GFH will be how they handle the increasingly ridiculous demands of our fanbase. “What d’ya mean we haven’t got £10m and £150k a week for a new striker? Not good enough!”

Happy New Year everyone. Here’s to a successful 2013. On and on…