At long last, Liam Bridcutt today arrived on an emergency loan deal which has taken the club over three weeks to complete.

Leeds’ interest in Bridcutt first came to light on the 2nd of November, a full 24 days before a deal was finalised. The emergency loan rule has always been a bit of a joke, constantly exploited by clubs since the closed windows were introduced. It’s effectively become an extension of the transfer window, more often used to patch up a leaky defence or add a new goal threat when your team isn’t performing than for the kind of ’emergency’ it was intended to solve – like having no goalkeeper after a freak run of injuries.

And while adding a striker to overcome a goal drought is stretching the definition of emergency to a ludicrous extreme, you could still make that argument provided you’d acted with the kind of haste befitting an ’emergency’ situation. But just how exactly would Leeds United make an argument for Liam Bridcutt’s acquisition being an emergency? How severe could the situation possibly be that the club could afford to mess about and stall for more than three weeks before completing the deal?

The peculiarities of this oft-exploited rule and Leeds United’s dithering aside, Bridcutt hardly screams season changer. If Leeds United were in desperate need of cover for any position, the goalkeeper we have no established cover for seems far more critical than defensive midfield. In fact, midfield is probably the area in which we’re best covered, almost every other position is in more urgent need of reinforcement.

Massimo’s apparent stalling could be explained by similar doubts about adding another midfielder considering Will Buckley’s loan deal was cut short before Bridcutt’s switch was completed. However, Steve Evans suggested the decision to return Buckley was his alone, claiming he couldn’t guarantee Buckley game time and wants to give Jordan Botaka more of a chance to shine.