By George Overhill

26th Mar, 2023 | 7:53pm

Leeds United: 'Moneyball' data analytics make Luis Sinisterra a top option to replace AC Milan star Rafael Leao

Leeds United winger Luis Sinisterra is one of the top options for AC Milan to replace Rafael Leao according to three AI data analysis companies, Gazzetta dello Sport reports.

Algorithms used by Driblab, Stats Perform and Wallabies computers were used to determine suitable replacements for Portuguese star Leao who may be leaving San Siro in the summer, as the Serie A champions’ owners Redbird already use data analytics to plan their market activity at sister club Toulouse in France.

The method was made popular by Billy Bean and Paul DePodesta of the Oakland Athletics in Major League Baseball, the subject of the book “Moneyball” that was later made into a film starring Brad Pitt.

The Whites’ summer signing from Feyenoord was identified as one of the primary options thanks to his speed and ability to hurt teams in transition after studying Juventus ace and compatriot Juan Cuadrado.

While Leao is the star man at San Siro it is a less glitzy group of names that the algorithms drew up to replace him, with Sinisterra joined by the likes of Ademola Lookman at Atalanta and Sturm Graz’s Bryan Teixeira.

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Willy Gnonto is the man that is hogging all the headlines in terms of interest from his home country over a possible transfer this summer, but the data suggests that the lesser-spotted Sinisterra could be of interest too.

The Colombian had a fine start to the season and went through a wonderful purple patch of scoring for club and country in August and September.

But a foot injury and a sending off in the draw against Aston Villa on 2 October helped to derail his season to the point where he has totalled less than 90 minutes in the Premier League in 2023.

A £21million arrival, he has so far played just a single minute for Javi Gracia as a late substitute in the 2-2 with Brighton on 11 March.

He therefore faces a battle to overcome Jack Harrison, Crysencio Summerville and Gnonto in the new manager’s eyes, with little room for error given how tight the relegation battle is.

The constant upheaval this season, including the World Cup break and the switch from Jesse Marsch to Gracia haven’t helped him overcome injury and suspension, so unless Milan take heed of what the analytics say the 23-year-old should be looking to get back on track with a full preseason at Elland Road under whoever is in charge for next year.

In other Leeds United news, the club have given their word to make an “immediate” permanent signing once relegation is avoided.

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