Leeds United failed to welcome any new players to Elland Road in the January transfer window with director of football Victor Orta firmly focused on improving the squad in the summer instead.
Marcelo Bielsa, if the last few seasons are anything to go by, is no fan of the mid-season transfer window and rather force new faces upon him now, waiting until the summer is a far more sensible approach.
Leeds didn’t sign a new first-team central midfielder last summer even though it was quite clear Bielsa needed one.
Michael Cuisance came close to arriving from Bayern Munich but Bielsa’s midfield gap has, for now, been plugged by Spain’s number nine Rodrigo.
Many thought Rodrigo was arriving at Elland Road as a striker to take Patrick Bamford’s spot in the side but a mixture of Bamford’s brilliant form and Rodrigo’s versatility has seen the Spain international slot into the midfield with varying degrees of success.
Leeds need an out-and-out central playmaker in the summer. Orta knows that and that is why he’s made it a priority to sign one.
Barcelona’s Riqui Puig could prove to be the perfect player to quench Orta and Bielsa’s thirst for a central playmaker in the summer with the Spanish ace already linked with a move to West Yorkshire.
In November, 90min reported that Leeds had been offered the chance to sign Puig on loan in the January window.
Bielsa’s style of play is reportedly a good fit for the 21-year-old and according to EuroSport, “he’s been tipped by some to be Barcelona’s next Lionel Messi”.
Puig has struggled for first-team minutes at the Nou Camp this season but did manage to make his first La Liga start on Sunday as Barca won 3-2 away at Real Betis.
According to stats by Wyscout, Puig completed 92 per cent of his passes, found a team-mate with all six of his passes into the final third and was successful in three of his five attempted dribbles.
He was eventually replaced just before the hour mark for Messi, who went on to score the winning goal for Barca.
We’re yet to see Puig hit his full potential due to his lack of game-time at the Nou Camp but it’s hard to see how Leeds can go wrong by signing him.
Puig is young, talented, has huge potential, suits Bielsa’s style of play and can fill the void that Orta is trying to sort out in the summer.
We’d love to see him at Elland Road in time for next season.
In other Leeds United news, fans were wowed by this teenager’s display for the Under-23s on Sunday.