Tuesday, September 21

5 players Leeds should target to add depth to Marcelo Bielsa’s squad


5 players Leeds should target to add much-needed depth to Marcelo Bielsa's team

Leeds under Bielsa

It’s fair to say that Leeds United strongly marked their long-awaited return to the Premier League.

The whites played passionate and fluid football under the tutelage of Marcelo Bielsa.

And although their defense sometimes suffered from this, Leeds became the Premier League team to watch for neutrals. They could also finish in 9th League place: only three points out of 7th place.

So with Bielsa signed for another year and all the momentum behind them, Leeds fans were no doubt hoping for a great summer window to help them go and push for a European spot this time.

However, to date, the Peacocks haven’t had the most exciting transfer windows.

Jack Harrison was permanently signed from Manchester City, but was already on loan at Ellan Road last season.

5 players Leeds should target to add much-needed depth to Marcelo Bielsa's team

Leeds United’s Jack Harrison celebrates scoring a goal that was caught offside during the Premier League match at Elland Road, Leeds. Picture date: Sunday, May 23, 2021 (Photo by Lynne Cameron / PA Images via Getty Images)

Furthermore, Junior Firpo was hired after left-backs Ezgjan Alioski and Barry Douglas left for the summer, while Kristoffer Klaesson has been hired as a substitute goalkeeper.

This, less than a week away from the summer window, has left Leeds with a roster quite similar to what they had last year.

And while Bielsa can often bring out the best in some fairly average players, the Yorkshire team generally lacks quality depth.

Then, 101 I have taken a look at five players who could help strengthen Leeds this year.

Moses Simon, Nates

One area where Leeds lacks a bit of quality depth is on the left wing.

Jack Harrison is a great option to have and to date he has seriously impressed with a Leeds jersey.

But outside of English, there are not many options currently highlighted in the Leeds books.

One player who could change that is Moisés Simón de Nates. On paper, the Nigerian seems to be a perfect fit for Leeds de Bielsa.

The 26-year-old is very fast, great with the ball at his feet and is versatile.

Simon would score six and assist five in the league’s final season and is off to a very impressive start in 2021/22, posting three assists in three Ligue 1 ties.

Simon is a leftist by trade, which would make him a very solid endorsement of Harrison. But he can also do a solid job when deploying as a center forward.

Gaetan Laborde, Montpellier

The center forward is also another area where Leeds could probably add some quality depth.

Rodrigo appeared to have been signed for this past summer but has struggled to get to his feet in England and is now generally used behind the main striker.

On the other hand, Joe Gelhardt is a promising 19-year-old, but it is not enough endorsement for Patrick Bamford, while Tyler Roberts is simply not at the desired level, especially if Leeds wants to start fighting for European football.

One man who could be is Gaetan Laborde, who currently plays France for Montpellier.

The 27-year-old would have an excellent 2020/21, scoring 16 and assisting eight in 38 league playoffs.

He has also started this campaign strong, scoring two out of three for the French team.

And, like Simon, Laborde is a versatile option. He is a natural center forward, but he is also very capable of lining up on the right wing, which is what he has done so far this season.

Lloyd Kelly, Bournemouth

Aside from the left wing and center forward, the left back is probably the area where Leeds lacks the most depth.

As already mentioned, Firpo would be signed from Barcelona after the departure of Alioski and Douglas.

But the Spaniard is now Leeds’s only left-back. So Leeds should try to target Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly to help fill this gap.

The 22-year-old has limited experience in the Premier League, but is good on the ball and is also more than capable of being used as a central defender, something Bournemouth has done to him of late after making the youngster their captain. a decision that shows your maturity and leadership skills.

However, his most natural position is left back and he would probably be a great option to rotate with Firpo.

Lewis O’Brien, Huddersfield

Leeds United have been linked to Lewis O’Brien for some time.

The 22-year-old is an accomplished central midfielder that Bielsa could turn into a Kalvin Phillips-like player.

And, as was clear when he was absent against Manchester United, Leeds currently doesn’t have a great backup option for Phillips.

Central defender Robin Koch tried to fill that role, but failed quite a bit. So it’s pretty clear that Leeds should try to attract some competition for Phillips and O’Brien could be just that.

5 players Leeds should target to add much-needed depth to Marcelo Bielsa's team

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 17: James Rodriguez of Everton during the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on October 17, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Emma Simpson / Everton FC via Getty Images)

James Rodriguez, Everton

This latter pick may be somewhat available, but it could be a great buy for Leeds.

James Rodríguez joined Everton from Real Madrid last year and got off to an excellent start to his Premier League career.

He scored six and assisted five in 23 league games in 2020/21. And although his form declined towards the end of the season, there is no doubt that he is still a quality player.

And, after Carlo Ancelotti left Everton this summer, Rodríguez’s future at Merseysiders has now been put in doubt and he still has a single minute to play this season.

So since Leeds currently don’t have a natural creative central attacking midfielder on their books, wouldn’t it be worth trying to sign the Colombian cheaply this year?

Rodriguez can also operate on the right wing, so he could provide some competition / endorsement for Raphinha.


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