MOT View: Spanish attacker valued £4.2m+ may be smart addition for Leeds amid reported interest
Leeds United fans are understandably on edge over the lack of transfer activity at the club this month, especially as Marcelo Bielsa’s senior options seem to be getting lighter by the week.
Not only have Jack Clarke and Eddie Nketiah seen their loan spells at Elland Road come to an end, but there have also been injuries galore and the latest three-match ban for Kalvin Phillips only adds to the problem.
Leeds’ priority is a new centre-forward but that does not mean that other areas of the squad should be ignored and new central midfielders and wingers are also needed to bolster Bielsa’s first-team squad.
Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo has reported that Leeds are now among the clubs who are showing interest in Rayo Vallecano attacker Adrian Embarba – and he could be a smart addition for the Yorkshire giants this month.
Embarba, 27, has been in great form for Rayo this season, scoring seven goals and supplied 11 assists in 23 second-tier appearances.
The Spanish winger also stood out last season for Rayo when they were relegated from La Liga as he scored five goals – one of which a winner against Real Madrid – and assisted six in 36 outings.
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Leeds are now said to be showing an interest in Embarba, who enters the final year of his contract at Rayo in the summer and is attracting attention from clubs across England and Spain.
Mundo Deportivo reports that Real Betis and Espanyol are keen on the Madrid-born winger while Leeds, West Ham and Norwich are among the interested parties in England.
In the summer, it is understood that Betis had a bid of up to £4.2million rejected by Rayo and that the Segunda Division club will want more than that to cash in on him before the January transfer window closes.
Leeds should be trying to force themselves to the front of the queue to sign Embarba because he seems like the type of player who would fit well into Bielsa’s system.
WhoScored shows that the Rayo winger is someone with a very high work-rate as he loves to track back and defend, get stuck into tackles and also do a good job in his attacking role with him providing plenty of good-quality crosses in the box.
Last season in La Liga, Embarba averaged 1.5 key passes and 1.5 crosses per match. In comparison, Helder Costa has averaged 0.9 key passes and 0.2 crosses per Championship appearance this season [WhoScored].
Embarba also averaged 1.3 dribbles compared to Costa’s 1.1 per league game this term and also averaged more top-flight tackles and interceptions than Leeds’ on-loan winger.
It is not to say that Embarba would be able to do as good a job in the Championship as he did in La Liga with Rayo because he was a stand-out player there in a poor, relegation-hit season.
However there is no denying that he is someone who sounds interesting and could be a good fit at Leeds as long as Bielsa is in charge.
In other Leeds United news, the Whites have also turned their attention to this Norwegian attacker.