Phil Hay has dropped an update on reported Leeds United transfer target Arnaud Kalimuendo.
In a recent post on Twitter, The Athletic journalist revealed that, following a number of reports linking the Whites with a move for the Paris Saint-Germain centre-forward this summer – for whom the Ligue 1 side are believed to be demanding €25m (£21m) in order to part with – the 20-year-old has now emerged as Victor Orta’s top attacking target this summer.
In his tweet, Hay said: “Leeds also firm admirers of PSG’s Arnaud Kalimuendo. A new forward tops the agenda.”
Considering just how talented a goalscorer Kalimuendo has proven himself to be in recent seasons, Hay’s claim that the France U21 international now looks to be Orta’s top attacking target in the summer transfer window is sure to have left the Elland Road faithful buzzing.
Indeed, over his 28 Ligue 1 appearances – only 13 of which came as starts – during a loan spell with RC Lens back in 2020/21, the £16.2m-rated forward highly impressed, scoring seven goals, registering five assists and creating three big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 1.2 shots, making 0.6 key passes and completing 0.9 dribbles per game.
These returns saw the 20-year-old average an extremely respectable SofaScore match rating of 6.76, ranking him as Lens’ 13th-best performer in the league – playing a key role in the club securing an impressive seventh-place finish in their first season back in the French top flight.
The £6.6k-per-week talent once again caught the eye over his 32 Ligue 1 fixtures during a second spell with Les Sang et Or last season, this time scoring 12 goals and creating three big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 1.8 shots – 0.9 of which hit the target – making 0.6 key passes and completing 0.8 dribbles per game.
These metrics saw the player who Jacek Kulig labelled “prolific” average a SofaScore match rating of 6.82, ranking him as Franck Haise’s 14th-best player in the league last time out – once again helping Lens secure a seventh-place finish.
As such, it is clear to see that, even as part of a team who would hardly be considered regular contenders for European football, Kalimuendo has more than proven his goals can help fire a club up towards the top end of the table, something that is undoubtedly one of the reasons Orta appears to be so keen on the striker – and why we believe the Spaniard must do all he can to land the 20-year-old ahead of the Whites’ 2022/23 campaign.