Leeds transfer target Nicolas Tagliafico could be a perfect for Bielsa-ball amid Paddy Kenny’s comments on the left-back.
Reports in recent days have suggested that Marcelo Bielsa’s side have their eye on the Ajax star, and now Kenny has thrown his backing behind a potential move, saying he would be a seamless fit at Elland Road under his fellow Argentine.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “He’d definitely fit right in with the way Leeds play. It’s an area they’re looking to strengthen in. He’s an Argentina and Ajax player which tells you all you need to know.
“He’s an absolutely unbelievable footballer. I’d like to think he’d fit right into the style that Bielsa plays. Any signing like that will be a huge boost to the fans and the whole club.”
With his experience of shining in the Champions League – he was a key part of the Ajax side that reached the semi-finals a couple of seasons ago – Tagliafico would arrive at Elland Road with arguably the most European top-level experience outside of Rodrigo perhaps.
And when you look at his style of play, it’s clear that he would really suit the kind of play Bielsa has built up over the years at Leeds. Dubbed as someone who’s “fierce” and “works hard”, the Argentine flier might be a left-back by trade, but has always been one of those modern full-backs who does most of his damage going forward.
As per Whoscored, his average of 1.5 shots per game in the Eredivisie this season would actually rank him fourth among all of Leeds’ squad, while his 0.9 key passes would leave him just outside of the top five, and comfortably above any of the Whites’ current full-backs.
Defensively, he’s someone who looks to play on the front foot and stop opposition wingers from having the time and space to run at him, with his 2.1 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per game this campaign ranking him in top five and top three respectively compared to everyone at Leeds.
Tagliafico looks equally adept at offering a real attacking outlet going forward, as he is holding his own defensively and helping the Whites win the ball back as quickly as possible through their pressing.
If there is a player who looks like he fits the mould of Bielsa-ball to a tee, then the £20k-a-week earning Argentine looks to be exactly that.