MOT Leeds News conducted an exclusive interview with Index HR journalist Ivan Žeželj, getting his views on the Whites’ pursuit of Dinamo Zagreb’s Josko Gvardiol…

Croatian journalist Ivan Zezelj has claimed that Dinamo Zagreb defender Josko Gvardiol would tick all of the boxes for Leeds United.

Zezelj shared that the 18-year-old is calm in possession, and naturally plays the ball out from the back – something which will please Marcelo Bielsa.

It was the Index HR journalist who first shared that the Whites were closing in on a deal for the defender, who would travel to England after a game on the 16th of September.

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Zezelj shared that Gvardiol has a strong character and mentality, not that of an 18-year-old as he possibly prepares for a life-changing move.

Speaking exclusively to MOT Leeds News, Zezelj said: “Gvardiol is a strong, fast and excellent centre-back game reader, but what’s most important for Marcelo Bielsa & Leeds United is a natural left-footed centre-back that’s very comfortable on the ball and a good back-passer.”

“He does the ball out of defence as his daily job, which in football is still pretty rare, and what elite clubs make a difference to others. In modern football, something that’s become a necessity. All Gvardiol mentioned above does with a respectable amount of pressure.

“Gvardiol also has a strong character and maturity, which is very unusual for 18-year-old players. He’s both physically and technically powerful. Commitment and work ethics have been highlighted as its main strengths.”

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Gvardiol’s skill on the ball is clear when examining his stats. The 18-year-old averages nearly 60 passes per 90 minutes according to WyScout, at a success rate of 89.8%.

Compare that to the likes of Liam Cooper, who only averaged 47.19 and Gvardiol could have a senior head on his shoulders which is highlighted by his want to be in possession.

The 18-year-old is clearly beyond his years, and with Cooper having had an injury scare over this weekend, having an extra rotation option could be key for the rest of the season.

In other Leeds United news, Whites handed boost as player confirms return ahead of schedule

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