Leeds could land a perfect midfield partner for Kalvin Phillips in Udinese’s Rodrigo de Paul.
Reports last summer suggested that Marcelo Bielsa’s wanted to lure the Argentina international to Elland Road, and it was even recently suggested by The Athletic’s Phil Hay that the midfielder wants to join the Premier League club.
Football Insider have now revealed that the Whites are prepared to pay a club-record fee to sign De Paul in the upcoming transfer window and have made him one of their top targets.
The 1.8m-tall (5 foot 11) ace has been described by his former manager Julio Velazquez as someone who “lacks absolutely nothing”, and the £34.2m-rated box-to-box midfielder has backed up those words this season by scoring eight goals and providing a further nine assists in just 33 games.
When you look at the kind of player that he is, you can see why Bielsa is so keen to bring him to Elland Road, and why he could be a perfect partner for Phillips in the engine room.
Speaking to Yorkshire Evening Post, Smarterscout’s Dan Altman said: “There aren’t any central midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues who can match Rodrigo de Paul’s style of play and his pitch coverage.
“He’s most active in the right channel, crossing midfield, but he can pop up almost anywhere. He’s an avid defender, and his attacking contribution is huge at a Premier League standard. He’s Argentine and has enormous output on both sides of the ball, so he seems like a great fit for Bielsa’s Leeds.”
With that ability to break the lines with his running and movement, De Paul could offer a goalscoring touch from midfield which has eluded Leeds this season in the Premier League – Mateusz Klich is their top-scoring central midfielder with just two goals.
The Argentine would offer Phillips a runner to hit with his fine range of passing, and allow the England international to sit slightly deeper and dictate the play like he usually does.
Described as an “avid defender“, De Paul could join Phillips in making it an absolute nightmare for opposition midfielders to try and get time on the ball to try and play, and the duo could play a huge role in winning it back as quickly as possible if they end up playing together for the Whites.
It’s no surprise that Leeds are once again interested in signing him.