Phil Hay highlights Crystal Palace player he wanted Leeds to sign

The Athletic’s Phil Hay believes that Crystal Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze would have been a good signing for Leeds United.

Eze had an outstanding season for Queens Park Rangers last season in the Championship, scoring 14 goals and proving eight assists.

Roy Hodgson’s side hosted the Whites at Selhurst Park on Saturday, where the midfielder impressed in a 4-1 thumping.

He scored the second goal from a brilliant free-kick.

The 22-year-old arrived at the club during the summer transfer window for a fee of around £17 million, and Hay feels that he is a player Leeds could have moved for.

“He is at Palace and is, to my mind, a really good player,” he said on The Phil Hay Show.

“That [interest in Eze] never seemed to get going on the Leeds front but he would certainly have been a player, if Leeds had dipped into the Championship as heavily as we thought they would to begin with, that I’d have been very interested in them getting hold of.

“[He’s] really talented, really good in that deep-lying forward position, where he can pick passes, he can run, he can look for possession. He’s another one in amongst [Andros] Townsend and [Wilfried] Zaha and others that [Leeds] will have to be careful with.”

Dangerous option

Instead of moving for Eze, Leeds signed Rodrigo and Raphinha to bulk up their ranks of attacking midfielders.

The Greenwich-born player has made just two starts for the Eagles so far, but has been used off the bench four times (via WhoScored).

In terms of Leeds attacking recruits, Raphinha has made just three substitute appearances, but Rodrigo had begun making an impact before being ruled out due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Used in the midfield rather than as an alternative to striker Patrick Bamford, Rodrigo has scored one goal so far, but has added plenty of creativity averaging one key passes, 0.8 dribbles and 2.2 shots per game (via WhoScored).

Raphinha, who Bielsa has identified as predominantly a winger, will likely have to wait for more action though, with Jack Harrison and Helder Costa holding down those positions so far this season.

In other Leeds news, ‘Naturally very attacking’ – Bielsa details where he sees Raphinha playing for Leeds