Leeds United could sign Marcelo Bielsa’s new Alexis Sanchez in Arnaut Danjuma.
Reports in recent days have suggested that the Bournemouth star has caught the eye of several Premier League clubs, including the Whites, although it will take a significant offer for the Cherries to let the £13.5m-rated flier leave.
While Sanchez’s career may have tailed off in recent years, he was in fine fettle under Bielsa when the duo worked together at international level with Chile between 2007 and 2011 – it was a relationship which even saw the now 32-year-old pay big respect to the current Leeds manager.
He said: “I learned a lot from him and it is because of him that I am who I am. What I remember the most about Bielsa was the mentality that he tries his players to have.”
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez’s former teammate at Arsenal, raved after a superb free-kick from the Chilean against Southampton: “It’s moments of brilliance like that (which show his quality) but at the same time he works harder than I think I’ve seen anyone work. He is so skilful but he also does the defensive work up front and sets the tone.”
Sanchez’s combination of pace, eye for goal and work-rate is something very much similar to Danjuma, with the Cherries speedster banging in 17 goals and providing another eight assists in all competitions last season.
Speaking on The Official EFL Podcast, former Cherries boss Jonathan Woodgate said: “He’s an exceptional player, in a really good place at the minute, Arnie. He’s another one who I’ve always done a lot of work on him at his previous clubs, so I knew all about him coming into this role, I knew what type of player he was.
“He made an unbelievable run for one of the goals, I showed him that, but then I showed him what he did winning the ball back, when he had to sprint 50 yards and get the ball back. That’s what makes a really good player, for me, getting that work rate in because we know, with the ball his feet, he’s a top player. Can he do the rest going the other way? And he’s starting to show that now, so yeah, he’s doing well.”
Given that quality and energy, Leeds could sign Bielsa a new Sanchez with whom to work, a decade after he worked with the Inter Milan ace.