By Sean Fisher

18th Nov, 2022 | 7:41am

Phil Hay raves about almost perfect Cody Gakpo amid Leeds transfer speculation

Ahead of his role with the Netherlands at the World Cup, Phil Hay gave a glowing review of Leeds United target Cody Gakpo.

Leeds have been long-term admirers of Gakpo, with the Whites seeing a bid rejected for the 23-year-old in the summer [talkSPORT].

The Dutchman then went on to score nine and assist 12 goals in 14 Eredivisie matches this season, sending his transfer value soaring. Leeds are still eager to try and complete a deal though , with Fabrizio Romano claiming the Yorkshire side “will try again” to sign him in January.

The Athletic journalist Hay is evidently a big fan of the Dutch striker after singing his praises in his latest edition of ‘The Radar‘.

“Leeds United flew their director of football, Victor Orta, to the Netherlands to try to land the winger on the day before the deadline,” wrote Hay.

“PSV Eindhoven held firm, though, and refused to sell him, partly because they were unsatisfied with the offers they received but also because they could see that another strong domestic season in the Eredivisie combined with a good performance for the Netherlands at the World Cup would send Gakpo’s value rocketing.

“Gakpo, 23, has kept up one-half of that bargain, piling up goals and assists this season and he is almost the perfect wide forward, blessed with pace but also benefiting from a tall and powerful physique that makes him difficult to defend against.”

Priority signing

If there’s one area at Leeds that desperately needs addressing in January, it’s a new forward.

Jesse Marsch knew it in the summer – hence the Gakpo interest – but a flurry of failed moves saw him end up with 18-year-old Wilfried Gnonto.

The young Italian has proved to be a great addition to Leeds, but a senior goalscorer is still needed and Gakpo has been a shining star across Europe this season.

Sadly, that means many other clubs will be fighting for his signature in January, but Leeds’ previous communications with the player and his agent might stand them in good stead of standing out.

His value will inevitably be higher as a result of his incredible form with PSV, but it also shows that Gakpo has the potential to be a world-class talent.

After agonisingly missing out on him late into deadline day, Leeds should do whatever they can to convince Gakpo to finally jet over to Elland Road.

in other Leeds United news, the Whites could overrule Victor Orta and recall Dan James if he shines at the World Cup