MOT View: 22-yr-old reported Leeds target could provide interesting Hernandez alternative
If Leeds United do secure promotion this season, expect a big summer of transfer speculation to follow.
After a 16-year absence from the top flight, and with one of the professional game’s most renowned managers at the helm, it would be no surprise to see the Whites splash the cash a little if and when they do wrap up their top flight status next term.
One player who is already being linked is Argentine midfielder Matías Zaracho.
The 22-year-old currently plies his trade with Racing in his home country, and has been identified as one of the “pieces” Bielsa is looking to add to his squad this summer, according to El Intransigente.
But what exactly could the South American offer Leeds?
According to Wyscout, Zaracho has played the majority of this season in an attacking midfield role, not dissimilar to that of Pablo Hernandez.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
At first glance, comparing the two players hardly flatters the Argentine, however.
Zaracho has a total action success rate that is 3.8% lower than Hernandez’s, as well as having a dribble completion rate that is 13.8% worse.
But closer inspection would seemingly suggest that he has got some real merits to his game.
For one thing, his shot accuracy is 11.1% better than Hernandez’s.
Likewise, his pass completion rate is 10.6% better, and his xG is higher too.
In short, his style of play has a more efficient, direct – perhaps even industrious – quality to it, and that was perfectly illustrated by his winner in the 1-0 victory over Boca Juniors earlier this season.
In the image above, Zaracho is the player in the centre of goal, just entering the box.
One of the hardest things to defend against in any football match is a late run from an advanced midfielder – especially when they’re executed as well as this one.
Zaracho is moving at speed, and trying desperately to catch up with a wide man who finds himself isolated in a position of relatively little danger.
But because Zaracho has come from deep, he is not being tracked by a specific defender – and he realises this too.
Waiting for a second at the back post, the midfielder sees his chance and goes for it.
With a sharp dart, Zaracho gets across the front of two defenders and canes a superb effort into the roof of the net.
Admittedly, we couldn’t imagine Hernandez scoring that type of goal too often.
But variety could be good for Leeds, and bringing in a young talent like Zaracho, who can compliment the veteran Spaniard and round out the squad more completely, can’t be a bad thing at all.
In other Leeds United news, Bradley Johnson has made a PL prediction for Leeds while previewing Saturday clash