MOT View: £20m-rated centre-mid with thunderous left foot is perfect Leeds Cuisance alternative
Leeds United have seen their bid to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Michael Cuisance fall to pieces and the search is now on to find an alternative.
According to The Athletic journalists Phil Hay and David Ornstein, the 21-year-old Frenchman was sent back to Germany on Thursday night after failing a medical with Leeds despite a £20million fee being agreed.
But Leeds are not expected to break the bank on finding someone to bring in instead of Cuisance even though the clock is ticking on any overseas transfers.
After Monday, Leeds will only be able to sign players from Premier League and EFL clubs, which decreases the pool of potential arrivals a sizeable amount.
But there’s still time until the deadline on Monday and one player who’s already been on Leeds’ radar in this transfer window is Atalanta ace Ruslan Malinovskyi.
The Telegraph reported in September that amid frustrating in their bid to sign Udinese’s Rodrigo De Paul, Leeds mooted Malinovskyi, 27, as a potential target they could pursue.
It is understood that the Ukraine international is valued at £20million, so he wouldn’t cost any more than what Leeds were willing to pay for Cuisance.
He’s also left-footed like Cuisance.
While the Bundesliga website describes Cuisance as having a “wand of a left foot”, Malinovskyi has been dubbed as having a “cannon in his left boot” by ex-Leeds star Tony Dorigo for his ability to score from distance.
Always find it strange when I hear my own voice over a clip…..however, Malinovskyi must have a cannon in his left boot, no???
— Tony Dorigo (@tonydorigo) September 23, 2020
Malinovskyi is an attack-minded central midfielder who can also play in the No 10 role behind a striker.
With Pablo Hernandez injured and now at the age of 35, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Leeds sign someone who’s seen as a replacement for the Spanish veteran.
Malinovskyi may be seven years older than Cuisance but he’s at the peak of his career now and has experience of playing in top leagues in Europe and in high-pressure international fixtures for Ukraine.
Atalanta have turned into one of the most feared clubs in Italy and Malinovskyi has played a big role in that transformation.
Last season, he scored nine goals and supplied seven assists in 44 appearances across all competitions.
Manchester City, Juventus and Lazio were among the teams who felt the brunt of Malinovskyi’s ability to burst out of the midfield and get on the scoresheet last season while the £20million-rated ace has also started this season well, by scoring again against Lazio in his second Serie A appearance.
Time is not on Leeds’ side at the moment so they need to push on and sign a new midfielder as soon as possible.
Malinovskyi is not beyond their budget and is someone who Victor Orta and his scouts will already have done extensive work on.
In our opinion, he’s the perfect alternative for Cuisance.
In other Leeds United news, the Whites could be set for a major transfer windfall.