There is a reason why Phil Hay is one of the most trusted voices in journalism when it comes to Leeds United.
The Athletic reporter rarely misses with his information, and so when he tells fans that they should “keep an eye” on a transfer rumour, you can bet that it’s worth sitting up and paying attention.
In this instance, Hay is referring to a potential deal for Brazilian full-back Yan Couto, who is set to join Manchester City this summer.
The 17-year-old will arrive in England for a fee of around £13.6 million, but it is understood that Pep Guardiola is keen to send him back out on loan straight away to help him gain vital first team minutes.
And that’s where Leeds step in.
But what sort of player would the Whites be getting, and would he be worth pursuing?
MOT Leeds News have taken an in-depth look at his contributions for current club Coritiba this season to find out.
The starlet has already been compared to Dani Alves by The Guardian, and statistically, he looks to be a real prospect.
According to Wyscout, his pass completion rate this season is 81.6% – the exact same as Luke Ayling’s.
Moreover, the Brazilian’s cross completion rate is 7.7% higher than the Leeds man, and his dribble success rate is a massive 25.6% higher – not bad for a player born in 2002.
But how does that attacking prowess translate into a match situation?
The main thing that stands out is his willingness to get forward at any and every opportunity.
In the image above, Couto is the player nearest the camera just crossing the halfway line.
By the time the ball is played diagonally, look where he ends up assuming possession.
Essentially, the youngster is acting a second winger, and the headache that causes a defence cannot be under-estimated.
Suddenly, an entire backline is scrambling across to deal with a threat that has come from very, very deep.
The South American is so much more than just a willing runner though.
The image above, taken from the same match, shows him moving onto the ball just inside his own half.
Rather than panicking or squandering possession, however, he simply looks up and skips past his man as if he isn’t there.
Couto’s pace is frightening enough, but his composure looks to be far beyond that of your average 17-year-old.
He is, in many respects, a typical Brazilian full-back – bold, positive, technically-gifted – and he’s exhilarating to watch at times.
The starlet doesn’t stop either, and if we move things on a little further, as pictured above, we see that he not only covers a lot of ground, but he also shows the presence of mind to pick a pass out wide at the end of his dribble too.
Whether he would be able to operate so freely in the English game is a different matter entirely, of course, but you would have to say that the lad has boundless potential, and those Dani Alves comparisons look more than justified.
It’s little wonder that Man City have moved for such a precocious talent, and if Leeds United could snap him up on loan next term, we would definitely be in favour of it happening.
In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay outlines ‘biggest threat’ potentially facing Leeds promotion push.