Leeds could deliver a big message to Marcelo Bielsa by landing AZ Alkmaar ace Teun Koopmeiners this summer amid reported transfer interest from Liverpool.
In a list of options suggested by The Athletic’s Phil Hay as potential cover for Kalvin Phillips, Koopmeiner’s name came into the discussion, with the suggestion that he could be set for a move away from his native Netherlands in the summer.
Italian publication Calciomercato have now claimed that fellow Premier League side Liverpool are keen on signing the Dutchman, who they see as a potential replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum.
In some player analysis done by The Athletic, it was suggested that: “Koopmeiners has more of an attacking profile than Phillips (something that might fit with Bielsa’s standards of versatility) and there is a lot to like about him. He stands out as a very good all-rounder in top-flight terms: an extremely strong tackler who mirrors Phillips in his constant attempts to look for forward passes rather than lateral balls.
“While the match with Phillips is not perfect, it is close enough to suggest that Koopmeiners is an asset Bielsa could refine with coaching.”
Described as a “leader” by his former coach Koen Stam, Koopmeiners is AZ Alkmaar’s captain, and as well as being a talented footballer, would be another important voice in the dressing room.
Perhaps just as importantly on a bigger scale, his signing would show that Leeds mean business. Fending off competition from outgoing Premier League champions Liverpool to his signature would signal to Bielsa that the Whites are intent on taking that next step forward – a vital message to convey when you consider that the Argentine’s current contract is coming to an end this summer.
While Bielsa seems more than happy at Elland Road, landing a key target like this would be the perfect way to prove to the manager that the club are ready to back him in the transfer market.
It’s all in Victor Orta’s hands to beat Liverpool to the 1.83m (6 foot) Koopmeiners now.