Leeds have been told they face significant competition in the race to sign Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles this summer.
Reports in recent days and weeks have suggested that Marcelo Bielsa’s side are keen on bringing the England international to Elland Road, although now, former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has claimed that plenty of teams will be interested too.
He said: “100 per cent. I think he would be a good signing for a lot of teams. I wouldn’t mind him at Villa. He showed at the weekend, he can play in different positions. A very good player, he can attack.
“He can play in a similar amount of positions as Dallas. Both are Mr Reliable and he could be the next Dallas. I’m sure there will be more teams than Leeds after him. I don’t see him going back to Arsenal and playing so it’s probably the right decision for him to move on.”
One of the main issues Bielsa has faced all season, and arguably throughout his tenure as Leeds manager, is the real lack of depth. Injuries can often really take their toll on the Whites, leaving them exposed in several key areas when one or two players go down – you only have to look at how Pascal Struijk has had to slot in at centre-back in recent weeks and months to see that.
But in the versatile Maitland-Niles, Andrea Radrizzani could go a long way to solving that issue for Bielsa. This season alone has seen the England international feature at left-back, right-back, left-midfield, right-midfield and in the middle of the park too.
That ability to play in numerous roles and positions is something that former Celtic star Chris Sutton has previously hailed, saying: “The young man’s versatility is a weapon. He is such a versatile talent – a diamond.”
The £16.2m-rated Maitland-Niles would be the kind of shrewd buy that plugs a few different holes in the Leeds squad at once, while also allowing him the opportunity to potentially shine as a central midfielder.