David Anderson has dropped an update on reported Leeds United transfer target Charles De Ketelaere.
In a recent article for The Mirror (12/7; page 48), the journalist claimed that, despite numerous reports in Italy suggesting that AC Milan are now closing in on a deal for the Club Brugge KV forward after lodging an improved bid, the Jupiler Pro League side would much rather sell the 21-year-old to Leeds this summer.
Anderson goes on to state that this is due to Victor Orta being willing to pay a total of £31.6m for the Belgium international – with £25.6m of this figure being an upfront payment – while the Serie A side’s latest offer is only reported to be in the region of €30m (£25.4m) plus Andreas Kristoffer Jungdal and Emil Roback.
While the numerous reports surrounding the future of De Ketelaere appear to be offering conflicting information regarding the forward’s most likely destination this summer, should Anderson’s latest update prove to be accurate, it is news that will undoubtedly leave the Elland Road faithful buzzing.
Indeed, based solely on his 496 minutes played in the Champions League last season, it is clear to see just how exciting a prospect the £27m-rated forward is, with FBref ranking the 21-year-old in the top 3% of forwards in Europe’s big five leagues and European competitions for xA per 90, as well as the top 4% for progressive passes, the top 15% for progressive passes received, the top 16% for passes attempted and the top 19% for shot-creating actions over the last 365 days.
The £17k-per-week talent also impressed in a defensive capacity, with FBref ranking the Belgian in the top 5% of forwards for pressures and the top 9% for tackles per 90 over the past 12 months – a quite extraordinary feat considering these metrics are based on six fixtures against Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig.
Furthermore, De Ketelaere was also in breathtaking form over his 39 Jupiler Pro League appearances last season, scoring 14 goals, registering nine assists and creating 16 big chances for his teammates – with these returns seeing the attacker average a SofaScore match rating of 7.25, ranking him as the 13th-best player in the league last time out.
As such, should Brugge indeed be prioritising Leeds’ move for the forward ahead of AC Milan’s this summer, it is clear to see just how huge of a boost this would be for Orta and his transfer team at Elland Road – as it is evident that De Ketelaere would make a fantastic addition to Jesse Marsch’s attacking options ahead of the Whites’ 2022/23 campaign.