A recent article published by The Athletic’s Phil Hay has caused a stir amongst the Leeds United faithful this week.
He details the future of loan striker Jean-Kevin Augustin and how the rarely-seen forward could become quite the steal despite the finances involved in the deal.
The west Yorkshire outfit landed the RB Leipzig man during the January transfer window and have an obligation to purchase him should they gain promotion (something that is looking rather likely).
According to Hay in a previous Q&A session, Augustin is going to cost Leeds in the region of £18m.
But such a claim has divided opinion, some find it hard to believe whilst others have put unwavering faith into their manager, Marcelo Bielsa.
Here’s the word from the doubting camp…
He won’t play , not fit enough
— Fenit-Bingley (Lufc) (@fenit52) June 1, 2020
bielsa is a good manager but that’s delusional. not shown enough quality to be worth that much. we bought chris wood for £3m.
— george (@georgeIufc) June 1, 2020
We’ll never know as he won’t get a chance
— Colin (@riganteland) June 1, 2020
— George (@GDB1993) June 2, 2020
Wow that’s a big statement – needs to improve massively on what I’ve seen so far
— Ron (@ronaallleeds) June 1, 2020
These supporters are right to question the statement given the 22-year-old’s lack of game time since joining the club on loan.
Per Transfermarkt, Augustin has made just three substitute appearances, playing a total of 48 minutes and wasn’t even named in Marcelo Bielsa’s squad for their final three matches before lockdown was imposed, via Transfermarkt.
Hay goes on to claim that Bielsa sees the striker as a “£30m-£40m” player and uses his statistics from the 2017/18 campaign to reinforce this view.
The Frenchman provided 12 goals and six assists in 37 appearances for Leipzig, which put him amongst some of Europe’s elite.
Which is why some can see where Bielsa’s influence could help the forward.
I think Bielsa increases the value of every player he takes under his wing. He's been incredible value for Radz, increasing the value of our squad by tens of millions – Kalvin, Klich, Harrison, White (not ours, but huge increase in value)…
— The Scratching Shed (@TSSLUFC) June 1, 2020
As I was saying earlier. If Bielsa loves him, its for a reason and the kid grew up with Kylian Mbappe and was even better than him at times at PSG https://t.co/YfDzAbFPZo
— Doc (@333doc1) June 1, 2020
Birlsa turned Kalvin Phillips from a player likely to be loaned to Barnsley into a £30m+, future England international! I’ll take his word for it!
— Dirty Leeds ¡Carajo! (@DirtyLeedsFC) June 1, 2020
Probably will turn out to be a steal, looks slim and firing on all cylinders. Get ready
— Jake Riley (@JakeyRiley) June 1, 2020
The lad is going to be class
— Jacob Wadsworth (@JacobWadsworth6) June 1, 2020
If Bielsa rates him I rate him.
— rushlufc 👀 💙💛 (@rushlufc) June 1, 2020
Whatever bielsa says, you better believe it’s gospel ❤️
— sam anderson (@samande74795122) June 1, 2020
I trust Bielsa
— Leeds Faithful (@MaynardM) June 1, 2020
If bielsa said it.. it must be true.
— Tariq Jabbar #StayAtHome 💙💛 (@TariqJabbar80) June 2, 2020
One fan references the transformation in Kalvin Phillips under the Argentine, but it remains to be seen if he can do the same here for Augustin.
If fit, the loanee has nine games to prove his worth to some of the Elland Road faithful – and with promotion looking like a mere formality, it’s arguably firmly in their control, then these supporters will have to get used to seeing the 22-year-old more.
AND in other news, Leeds swoop for this striker could solve their Bamford misery…