Marcelo Bielsa is not known for bringing in many players in the January transfer window during his spell in charge of Leeds United.
In his first January, goalkeeper Kiko Casilla was the only senior addition while last winter, Bielsa and Victor Orta only brought in Jean-Kevin Augustin to add to the first-team in the wake of Eddie Nketiah returning to Arsenal.
But there have been reports that Leeds could dip their toes into the transfer market in the upcoming January transfer window with claims in Spain earlier this month saying that Bielsa is planning a bid for Udinese’s Rodrigo De Paul.
Of course, De Paul was strongly linked with a move to Elland Road in the summer.
Earlier this month, Leeds’ head of European recruitment Gaby Ruiz confirmed to Italian football website TuttoMercatoWeb that contact was made for the 26-year-old Argentina international.
In September, Guardian and Sky Sports Italy journalist Fabrizio Romano reported Udinese wanted £36.8million (€40million) for De Paul and that high asking price could have been what put Leeds off.
But since that price-tag was slapped on the former Valencia player, he has been absolutely tearing up Serie A with Udinese and is one of the best-performing playmakers in Europe.
De Paul has made 10 appearances in all competitions for Udinese, scoring two goals and supplying two assists and wearing the captain’s armband for the last three league games.
According to stats by WyScout, De Paul has the best success rate at one-v-one dribbles in Europe’s top-five leagues [76.36], out-performing Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, who is second [71.11%].
De Paul also ranks above Grealish in xA (expected assisted).
Out of Europe’s top-five leagues, De Paul ranks third with an xA of 3.57. Grealish is sixth with 3.01 and Leeds’ Jack Harrison is seventh with 2.92.
De Paul is obviously one of the best central midfielders in Europe and based on the fact Leeds tried to sign Michael Cuisance in the summer, failed and then didn’t sign another centre-mid, there’s a chance Bielsa will alter his stance on January and bring in De Paul.
However, one issue is that Udinese may want to demand more money for the Argentina international now as he’s clearly one of the most impressive players on the continent.
In other Leeds United news, another top Everton player has been ruled out of the game against the Whites this weekend.