Rumour Busters: Ben Gibson to Leeds
Leeds United are unlikely to sign another centre-back this summer, according to former Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Phil Hay.
The reporter claimed via his personal Twitter account on Monday that Marcelo Bielsa is happy with his options at centre-back, even though he sold Pontus Jansson to Brentford earlier this summer and was already light on options in that area of the squad.
wouldn’t surprise me if Bielsa sticks with what he’s got at CB. He’s a big fan of White
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) July 22, 2019
Liam Cooper and Ben White, on loan from Brighton, are widely seen as the only natural centre-backs among Bielsa’s options, but it would seem as though the Argentine will also continue to put faith in full-back Gaetano Berardi to fill that role when needed.
It made sense for Leeds to be reportedly interested in signing a new central defender and Burnley’s Ben Gibson is someone who has been linked with a move to Elland Road this summer.
According to the Northern Echo, Burnley are willing to listen to offers for the 26-year-old, who made just five appearances in all competitions for Sean Dyche’s side last season.
It is understood that Leeds are interested in snapping up the former Middlesbrough centre-back if the deal is right, but based on Hay’s tweet on Monday, any move for him seems unlikely.
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It is a shame because Gibson is a solid centre-back at Championship level.
According to stats by WhoScored, Gibson averaged more clearances and conceded fewer fouls than Cooper and Jansson did last season in the Championship during his last full campaign in the second-tier at Middlesbrough.
Bielsa is someone who likes to have a small, close-knit bunch of players though and as Hay says, he’s already happy with his options going into the 2019/20 Championship season.
Do not expect to see Gibson lining up in the Whites defence any time soon.