MOT View: Bielsa sets sights on two summer signings – 23y/o pass-master has us very excited
No one really knows what the summer transfer window is going to look like in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak – or indeed when it will open and close for Leeds United.
That hasn’t stopped the transfer reports from springing up again and Leeds have been linked with two players again this week – both reported to be long-term targets.
The first is Canadian international striker Cyle Larin, who is currently on loan at Belgian side SV Zulte Waregem.
Turkish outlet Fanatik reported that Waregem have a £2m option to sign him but will not be taking it up because of the Coronavirus outbreak.
They claim that Leeds will make a £5.2m offer for him at the end of the season but we’re not massively enthused by him.
Larin was prolific at Orlando City in the MLS but only scored eight in 26 for Besiktas. Unless Marcelo Bielsa knows something we don’t, we’d happily pass on him.
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Leeds need better in the Premier League.
Oxford midfielder Cameron Brannagan is a different proposition.
He was linked with Leeds in January by Mike McGrath in the Telegraph, when David Ornstein of the Athletic said he would be available for £1m.
That seemed ludicrously cheap at the time and now he’s been linked again, although Premier League side Burnley are also said to be in the race for him.
Two things stand out about Brannagan after another impressive season at Oxford.
The former Liverpool midfielder is out on his own in terms of key passes, with two per 90 minutes according to the excellent EFL Analytics account.
That’s him on his own in the top left corner of the graph.
Brannagan also has the best pass accuracy in that graph – 86.7% according to WyScout.
That’s led to five goals and five assists in 30 League One games – impressive figures for someone who mainly plays in a deep midfield role.
There’s one issue – in the graph above Brannagan also has the least ball recoveries per 90 and that’s not something Marcelo Bielsa will be a fan of.
However, we think the 23-year-old could add that to his game under Bielsa and has everything else he needs to be a future star for Leeds, who desperately need bodies in central midfield.
Brannagan is under contract at Oxford until 2021 but with recent events in the world, they may well be forced to cash in on their prize asset.
If they are, Leeds should make sure they’re head of the queue.
In other Leeds United news, ‘A source has told me’: Jim White shares new PL plan that delivers big boost for Leeds promotion