Despite having won the Championship, Leeds United may well have been keeping a close eye on the play-off final this month between Fulham and Brentford.
Both sides featured potential transfer targets for the Whites, including the likes of Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins. But it was the Cottagers who came out on top, and there was one man who was arguably solely responsible for Scott Parker’s side clinching their own return to the Premier League: Joe Bryan.
Reports in recent days have suggested that Marcelo Bielsa’s side have joined the race to sign Bryan this summer, and if they were to judge him based off his last performance in a Fulham shirt, then a move should be a no-brainer for Victor Orta and co.
Despite playing at left-back, he struck both goals and proved to be the match-winner for Parker’s side as they beat Brentford 2-1 at Wembley. His opening strike was a brilliantly taken free-kick, catching out David Raya at his near post. It prompted former England boss Glenn Hoddle to rave about it on Twitter, even likening him to Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne.
Love that goal from BRYAN , fantastic disguise, De Bruyne like .🙌🙌😎.
— Glenn Hoddle (@GlennHoddle) August 4, 2020
And then, what eventually proved to be the decisive goal, Bryan linked up superbly with Aleksandar Mitrovic before firing past Raya inside the penalty box. It was a performance that was brimming with attacking intent, and showed just exactly what he can bring to the table – particularly going forward. His play-off final display was just the culmination of an impressive 2019/2020 campaign, in which he scored three times and racked up eight assists across all competitions.
With reports claiming that Fulham have set a valuation of around £5m, it would be an absolute bargain for Leeds to snap him up and add him to their ranks before the start of the new Premier League campaign. If Bielsa is keen on playing attacking football in the top-flight too, then having a goal-scoring full-back in his team sounds like a perfect match.