Laurens De Bock has never really looked as if he was going to become a first team fixture for Leeds United.
Signed from Club Brugge in January 2018, he has already been sent out on three separate loan deals during his spell at Elland Road, and has registered just seven first team appearances for the Whites.
His most recent stint away has come at Dutch outfit ADO Den Haag – where he played under Alan Pardew – but his season has been brought to an abrupt end by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and the decision to abandon the Eredivisie campaign.
And according to Leeds Live reporter Beren Cross, his time in Leeds could be winding down too.
Writing in a recent piece for the outlet, the reliable journalist said: “The left-back was playing regularly under Pardew and in Holland’s top division, but it is tough to see a future for him at Elland Road.
“Den Haag have an option to buy De Bock outright as part of his loan deal, but it is unclear whether they will exercise it in the current climate.
“De Bock has two years on his United deal remaining. [Victor] Orta will be keen to sell him on in the next window.”
And selling the 27-year-old would be the right thing to do.
Obviously, in an ideal world Den Haag would exercise the option-to-buy clause in his deal and that would be that.
But given the financial impact of the current global health crisis, things may not be that simple.
Even if the Dutch club cannot afford him, however, Leeds must try and force through his exit in the coming months.
A quick comparison between his stats during his time in the Netherlands and Stuart Dallas’ equivalent numbers this season shows that there is too much of a gulf in attacking quality for De Bock to seriously compete for a regular first team place with his parent club.
As per Whoscored, Dallas has registered 0.4 successful crosses per game to the Belgian’s 0.1, while the Northern Irishman also has more goals, assists, key passes, shots per game, and successful dribbles per match.
In pretty much every department Dallas outstrips De Bock, and with a return to the Premier League hopefully on the horizon, it’s difficult to see how Marcelo Bielsa could ever put his trust in a player who could only manage five appearances for Sunderland in League One during the first half of the season.
In short, it’s time for him to go.
In other Leeds United news, ‘No complaints’ – Paul Merson shares verdict on Leeds promotion debate.