With Leeds’ first season back in the Premier League an unquestionable success, attentions may already be turning towards how Marcelo Bielsa’s side can improve for the next campaign.
The Whites are still in the hunt for European football, so the Leeds boss will no doubt be fully focused on that, but the club’s hierarchy should already be drawing up plans on how to potentially reinforce this squad.
And, according to Spanish publication Deportes Cuatro, the Yorkshire club are one of a number of sides interested in signing Real Madrid winger Lucas Vazquez on a free transfer.
The 9-cap Spain international has established himself as a cornerstone of Madrid’s first-team squad this season, playing 25 games in all competitions, including playing the full 90 minutes in five out of the six Champions League group stage games Los Blancos were involved in.
With two goals and five assists, Vazquez is more of a creative wide-man than someone who’s going to bag ten goals a season – from the 2015/2016 campaign to the 2018/2019 one, the Spaniard broke double figures for assists in each year, including an impressive 16 assists during Madrid’s Champions League winning year in 2017.
His boss at Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, has waxed lyrical about the kind of team player that he is, and that should surely be further music to Bielsa’s ears.
Speaking after a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo just last month, the French icon said: “What he’s doing right now doesn’t surprise us. Not only do I like him, we all like him because he is always on the job and reliable. He always gives everything on the pitch and we appreciate that. I congratulate him.”
And when you look at his defensive numbers from this season, it’s clear to see why he’d be perfect for Bielsa. He averages a hugely impressive 2.4 tackles per game in La Liga, which would actually rank him fourth in the entire Leeds squad – only Liam Cooper, Kalvin Phillips and Luke Ayling have averaged more than him.
He also shows that doggedness and intensity when it comes to the 50/50 challenges, winning 5.6 duels per match – a stat that’s better than any of Leeds’ current wide players.
Vazquez sticks to his defensive task diligently, and given Zidane’s comments on how he “gives everything” for the cause, seems tailor made to be another stand-out Bielsa player at Elland Road.