An update has emerged on Espanyol striker Mateo Joseph, regarding Leeds’ interest in his services.
According to La Grada Online, Leeds United are lining up a move for the 17-year-old Espanyol striker as Victor Orta attempts to bolster the club’s youth ranks.
The report claims that the Whites have already agreed personal terms with the player, who was coveted by Barcelona in the summer, and must now pay his £850k (€1m) release clause in order to land him.
Orta must act now and agree to pay the £850k fee to bring Joseph to the club in the January transfer window. The report names Barcelona as one of the teams previously interested in him, whilst Premier League giants Manchester City were reportedly looking at him as a long-term Sergio Aguero replacement.
Pep Guardiola was said to be keen on the dynamo as he has strong physical and technical attributes, highlighting the youngster’s potential as a player, although City were unable to get a deal over the line for him. This, along with Barcelona’s indecision, has opened the door for Leeds to swoop in and make their move in the coming months.
Joseph, who is eligible to play for Spain or England at international level, could be a long-term project that Bielsa can work on at Elland Road. The Argentine coach has proven that he has the coaching ability to improve young players, with Illan Meslier a prime example of what he can achieve on the training pitch. We published an article explaining why Bielsa has produced a masterclass in management with the Frenchman over the last 12 months.
Bielsa could now work his magic on Jospeh if Orta is able to get a deal over the line and turn him into Patrick Bamford 2.0. The former Middlesbrough striker scored nine goals in his first season for the Whites under the ex-Marseille man, but soon found his feet and was able to develop into a player who suited Bielsa’s style of play and that allowed him to flourish.
Bamford scored 17 goals and provided eight assists in the Premier League for Leeds last term, having scored 16 goals in the second-tier in the 2019/20 campaign as the club achieved promotion to the top-flight. This shows how Bielsa was able to turn the forward into a lethal striker in the space of 12 months, transforming him from a player who failed to hit double figures in the Championship to a regular goalscorer in the Premier League.
Mateo Joseph could be the next centre-forward in line for this treatment from the 66-year-old. At the age of 17, he has plenty of time left ahead of him to develop while his physical and technical attributes remind us a lot of Bamford. With a bit of help from Bielsa, hopefully he’ll turn into the attacker’s long-term replacement over the course of the next few years.