Leeds United have been linked with many a big name since their return to the Premier League after The Whites ended the ache of 16 years outside of the top flight with a Championship-winning season to seal promotion.
They celebrated with a healthy summer transfer window, securing the signatures of Robin Koch, Raphinha and Illan Meslier to name a few. However, despite their fruitful business, a lot of other potential targets slipped through the net.
One man who Leeds fans and coaches alike must be furious they didn’t make a move for is AZ Alkmaar’s Teun Koopmeiners. United were linked to him during the summer, but the talks and links did not develop into a move. The midfielder has since been setting the Eredivisie alight with his blistering performances and creative flair that could have seriously done damage in the Premier League.
The Whites are currently on somewhat of a downward spiral after registering their third consecutive loss yesterday. Their 1-0 defeat to Brighton means they have now conceded 34 goals in the league, with only West Brom shipping more.
Whilst Marcelo Bielsa will benefit from having more defensive players in his arsenal, he could also do with recruiting more creative playmakers. Patrick Bamford currently leads the show with his 10 Premier League goals, the next highest scorer is Mateusz Klich with just three, as per BBC Sport.
The strain of scoring goals and keeping Leeds afloat falls heavily on Bamford and he is in need of some extra help from the engine room. Koopmeiners, who is currently valued at just £13.5million, according to Transfermarkt, would have been a superb addition to a midfield that seems heavily deprived of creativity.
According to Sofascore, the Dutchman has contributed eight goals and three assists in his last ten appearances for AZ Alkmaar. This takes his total to 11 goals and four assists for the season so far, putting him third in the list of the Eredivisie top scorers, which is an incredible achievement for a naturally defensive midfielder.
When comparing Koopmeiners to Klich, the Netherlands international trumps the Leeds ace. As highlighted by WhoScored, the Dutchman averages more passes (71), long balls (6.5) and shots per game (2.1) compared to Klich’s respective 55.4 passes, 2.1 long balls and 1.2 shots.
Koopmeiners ability to rack up such impressive attacking stats whilst being a defensive midfielder is admirable. He could have been the ideal creative piece to add to Bielsa’s engine room
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