If you weren’t already aware that Leeds United need to sign a new left-back, the events of this week will have made it very clear.
Gjanni Alioski is reportedly on his way out, with Football Insider claiming that he’s going to join Galatasaray.
That comes with its own issues but it also makes it very clear that the left-back position is the number one priority for Leeds in the summer.
A new left-back has been needed for a long time.
Barry Douglas didn’t make the position his own, and Stuart Dallas and Alioski aren’t natural left-backs.
Dallas is the best we’ve got but he’s often needed in other positions.
Leeds have been linked with a number of left-backs already, including Yasser Larouci (Liverpool) and Patrick van Aanholt (Daily Mirror).
Larouci is an interesting player but completely unproven and that’s not what Leeds need at the moment.
Van Aanholt is totally proven but he’s 30 and that’s not right for Leeds either unless they want to kick the ball down the road for a season.
The player that we think Victor Orta must bring to Leeds in the summer is Brest’s Romain Perraud.
The Athletic’s Phil Hay has said there is “genuine” interest in the player and that Leeds will “consider a formal offer” in the summer.
With the Alioski fallout hurting the Leeds community, that can’t come soon enough.
Perraud is an attack-minded 23-year-old and you can see him in action below.
Watching a bit of Romain Perraud and this is one of his assists. Very nice cross but the finish from Cardona is absolutely ridiculous. What a goal. pic.twitter.com/Qtx1oQvK8p
— Josh Hobbs (@JoshAHobbs) February 3, 2021
Perraud is 11th in Ligue 1 for progressive distance with the ball and 20th for touches in the attacking third. [FBRef]
That’s the sort of left-back that Marcelo Bielsa will want at Leeds and Perraud has been involved in eight goals this season – scoring three and assisting five in 28 Ligue 1 games.
They’re very good numbers for a side who are struggling near the bottom third of the French top-flight.
Talking on the Phil Hay Show podcast, Hay said, “He’s starting to become one of the leading left-backs, seen by many people, as the best left-back or one of them in France’s top division.
“It’s very clear from the performance data that he’s a very attacking left-back, who is good at creating chances, taking shots himself, a threat going forward, but also really good at employing the press, good as part of a team that likes to press aggressively. On those basic pointers, you can see why Leeds are interested.”
He was one of the highest-ranked left-backs in the recent Get French Football News top 100.
The left-back spot has been a real point of weakness for Leeds and we firmly believe Perraud is the player who can take Leeds to the next level in the Premier League.
Brest recently signed him up on an extension until 2025 but French football is in huge trouble at the moment.
Canal+ have returned their remaining Ligue 1 rights (Saturday night & Sunday evening) to the LFP as Ligue 1 is “too expensive.” Big hole in domestic market grows bigger. No 2 ways about it, French football is at its lowest commercial ebb in years. Worse still, all self-inflicted. https://t.co/22njInLbIF
— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) January 12, 2021
Brest, like every other club in France, is facing a financial black hole and TeamTalk claimed that as a smaller club they would be one of the hardest hit.
That can mean Leeds can swoop in and bag Perraud for a bargain price.
Kieran Maguire claimed that £20m-rated players could be available for as little as £8m because of the financial crisis in France.
This makes it the perfect time to land what we think will be the best deal Leeds United do this summer.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Horrific’ – Peter Ridsdale delivers Leeds verdict after major news reported