Leeds United still have just over a week to get any domestic signings through the door at Elland Road.
Cantwell is undoubtedly a fantastic player, netting six Premier League goals last season, and he’s had glowing reviews from people who have worked with him, with his former Norwich youth coach Darren Huckerby describing him as an incredibly gifted footballer:
“He was always the most gifted, but needed more work mentally than the others. He would admit it himself he could get intimidated by other players, and it’s great to see where he is now, because five years ago you might have said it would be touch and go,”
Indeed, Leeds have re-opened talks for the midfield maestro after bidding for him last month, but while Cantwell is certainly a talented player, he may be one signing too many for the club.
With United spending almost £100m since the end of last season already, splashing out another £20m on Cantwell may be hard to finance, especially with RB Leipzig chasing their £18m for Jean-Kevin Augustin.
That’s not the only problem either. Marcelo Bielsa has always been keen to work with a small squad, making that point incredibly clear during his tenure at Leeds, and with Cantwell potentially being United’s eighth first-team signing of the season, the squad may soon be oversaturated. To be honest, it probably already is.
Just look at the positions where Cantwell would want to fit in – Pablo Hernandez, Rodrigo and Tyler Roberts are already battling it out for the number 10 spot, while Ezgjan Alioski and Jack Harrison are competing on the left-wing, a position that Helder Costa and Stuart Dallas can also play in.
Bielsa will just be left with a massive selection headache if Cantwell is added to the team, and with the quality Leeds already have in these areas, you have to wonder if he’s even needed.
Signing the Norwich man could ultimately do more harm than good if it affects Bielsa’s squad dynamics.