Leeds have been handed a major boost in their chase to sign AZ Alkmaar captain Teun Koopmeiners this summer.
In a list of options suggested by The Athletic’s Phil Hay as potential cover for Kalvin Phillips, the Dutchman’s name came into the discussion, with the news that he could be set for an exit from Alkmaar when the transfer window opens.
Spanish publication AS have claimed that, as well as fellow Premier League side Liverpool being interested in Koopmeiners, AZ could be willing to let him go for a fee of around £14.5m.
Given just how cheaply Leeds bought Illan Meslier on a permanent deal last summer (£5.85m, according to Transfermarkt), that deal is surely up there with being one of Victor Orta’s biggest masterclasses at Elland Road.
In the 1.83m-tall (6 foot) Koopmeiners, the Whites could arguably secure an even better bargain. The valuation on the Dutchman is a major boost for Leeds given what Hay had previously suggested about the midfielder:
“The indications from Holland are that the 23-year-old, who won his first Holland cap in October, is ready for a move and his agent, Bart Baving, told Italian media last month that ‘the time has come for the next move’. However, he will not be cheap and several Italian clubs are monitoring him.”
Described as a “leader” by his former coach Koen Stam, Koopmeiners is AZ’s captain; and as well as being a talented footballer, would be another important voice in the Leeds dressing room if he comes to Yorkshire.
In some player analysis done by The Athletic, it was suggested: “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.”
Given the position he plays, and that he appears to be coming in at a much cheaper price than perhaps initially would have been expected, this has all the potential of being another Orta masterclass if Leeds can pull it off.
Meanwhile, Leeds are eyeing this 6 foot 3 powerhouse…