Pete O’Rourke has dropped a claim concerning reported Leeds United transfer target Kai Wagner.
Speaking recently to Football FanCast, the journalist stated his belief that, following a number of reports linking Jesse Marsch with a $3m (£2.5m) move for the Philadelphia Union left-back this summer, the American manager will indeed be well aware of the 25-year-old due to his contacts in the MLS.
Regarding the Whites’ interest in the defender, O’Rourke said: “I’m sure he’s a player that Jesse Marsch is well aware of. With his MLS contacts, I’m sure he’s been keeping tabs on Wagner during his time at Philadelphia Union. I’m sure he’s been getting glowing reports on him from his other MLS contacts.”
Considering just how impressive Wagner has been in America so far this season, in addition to the fact that left-back is well-known to be a position in Marsch’s squad that requires greater depth, the argument that the German full-back would be something of a perfect signing for Leeds is an easy one to make.
With Junior Firpo having underwhelmed during his debut campaign with the Whites last season – averaging a SofaScore match rating of just 6.60 over his 24 league outings, ranking him as Leeds’ seventh-worst player in the league last time out – as well as the 25-year-old currently being sidelined due to injury, Marsch has been left with no natural left-back for the first two fixtures of the 2022/23 campaign.
And, with Wagner having very much caught the eye for Philadelphia so far in 2022, coupled with the fact that he could be available for an extremely reasonable £2.5m fee, a move for the 25-year-old would appear to be something of a no-brainer prior to September’s transfer deadline.
Indeed, over his 26 MLS appearances so far this season, the £2.7m-rated talent has been in spectacular form, helping his side keep ten clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.8 interceptions, 1.3 tackles, 1.9 clearances and winning 3.5 duels – at a success rate of 55% – per game.
The defender has also impressed going forwards, providing five assists and creating seven big chances for his teammates, as well as making an average of 2.6 key passes – the joint ninth-most in the league – 4.1 long balls and 3.0 crosses per fixture.
As such, should Marsch believe that Wagner could replicate this form following a switch to Elland Road in the coming weeks, it would indeed appear as if the German’s signing should be something of a priority over the remainder of the summer transfer window – especially for a fee of just £2.5m – as the left-back would be a perfect fit for what Leeds require.