Leeds United could sign their new Pablo Hernandez in West Brom play-maker Matheus Pereira amid a transfer update.
Reports in recent days and weeks have suggested that the Whites are interested in signing the Brazilian this summer, but it appears the Yorkshire club may face some significant competition.
According to ESPN Brazil, fellow Premier League side West Ham are very much in the race to sign the £13.5m-rated star, and that while Pereira is interested in a move to link up with Marcelo Bielsa’s side, he’s also keen on playing European football – something he would get with the Hammers.
Hailed as a “genius” who “who has a technical ability that I have never seen before” by former Nurnberg coach Nate Weiss, Pereira enjoyed a superb campaign in the Premier League last season, netting 11 goals and provided a further six assists as he tried to rescue his Baggies side from relegation.
Former Leeds ace Noel Whelan has already raved about the thought of Pereira helping to form a dream attack at Leeds, saying: “It is a mouth-watering prospect. We missed out on certain players last season, and this is a player that excites everybody. I would definitely take him all day long.
“He’s a fantastic player, he’s great on the ball, he can turn people inside out. Pereira’s another option we can use right across that front three and maybe in a number 10 role as well. He’s the right age and he’s the sort of player we should be looking at. Imagine, if you put him alongside Raphinha, Rodrigo, Harrison etc, that’s pretty formidable.”
And, after a superb display against Aston Villa, BBC Sport pundit Jermain Jenas said of the 25-year-old: “He’s just silky. When he’s on it, he’s just got that lovely left-foot, (tucked) his penalty away, the delivery into the box for set-pieces was brilliant, and he wanted to showcase his skills.”
At his best, Hernandez was similarly creative and exciting to watch, with his nimble footwork and eye for goal being a huge part of the Whites’ resurgence in the last couple of years. As per Whoscored, in the 2018/2019 campaign in which he scored 12 and set up another 12, he averaged a whopping three key passes and 2.7 shots per game in the Championship.
In 175 games for the club, the little Spaniard netted 36 goals and provided another 41 assists, a remarkable feat given that Hernandez was well into his 30s when he joined up at Elland Road.
In Pereira, Victor Orta could bring about an instant Hernandez successor to Leeds.