Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa is eyeing a move for Fulham midfielder Harrison Reed in this summer transfer window.
Despite Euro 2020 beginning tonight, Leeds look as though they have their transfer priorities all sorted, with a new central midfielder on the agenda for this summer.
They claim that the Whites tracked Fulham’s Reed last season with a view to a summer swoop, and with the Cottagers’ relegation from the Premier League, Leeds see the midfielder as an ‘excellent addition’.
A regular presence for Scott Parker’s side last season, the £9m-rated Reed made 31 appearances in the Premier League, often starting at the base of midfield alongside Andre Zambo Anguissa. The tough-tackling 26-year-old was a shining light for the Cottagers despite their relegation, providing a superb shield to the back four.
As per Sofascore, Reed won four duels per game in the top-flight, as well as making an impressive two tackles and 1.6 interceptions per match while also winning back possession 0.6 times.
To put that into context, Chelsea star and recent Champions League winner N’Golo Kante averaged 3.7 duels won and made 2.6 tackles and two interceptions per game. He also won back possession just as often as Reed at 0.6 times per match.
It’s no surprise that the 26-year-old’s former boss Tony Mowbray has waxed lyrical about the kind of engine Reed possesses, and also the kind of attitude he has – all shades of Chelsea’s midfield dynamo.
The Blackburn manager said: “Immense! He’s been fantastic playing in a wide position, working like a trojan, running forward, blocking off the wide play, helping his full-back, in to out, in to out, and yet playing centre-mid today, it shows you where his true position really is on the pitch.
“He’s a fantastic player, but beyond his playing ability, his personality fits in amazingly well with our group.”
Reed himself has modestly said: “I need to improve on influencing the game higher up. The work, the tackles, the interceptions, they give the team a foundation to go on and be competitive but I also want to have that side where I influence the game higher up the pitch with assists, creating chances and goals.”
That relentless energy, hard work and tigerish attitude makes him a perfect fit as someone to slot into the engine room at Elland Road given Bielsa’s intense demands, and exactly why the Leeds manager must be buzzing at seeing his club target Reed this summer.