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Leeds: Tom Bogert drops Kai Wagner update

Leeds United look unlikely to make a move to bring Kai Wagner to Elland Road this summer.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to MLS insider and journalist Tom Bogert, who revealed in a recent report for MLS Soccer that, despite Victor Orta and Jesse Marsch holding a very real interest in the Philadelphia Union left-back, it now appears unlikely that the Whites will follow up this interest with a firm offer for the 25-year-old over the remainder of the summer transfer window.

This would appear to back up a claim made by BBC journalist Adam Pope, who revealed in a post on Twitter earlier this summer that the club are believed to be “going with what they have” on the left-hand side of their backline – something that would suggest a move for the German defender does not look overly likely in the coming days.

Big mistake

While it is true that, in the absence of both Junior Firpo and Stuart Dallas, Pascal Struijk has impressed while filling in at left-back – averaging an eye-catching SofaScore match rating of 7.13 over his three Premier League appearances in the position – it is undeniable that, should Leeds wish to give themselves the best possible chance of finishing in the top half of the table this season, a longer-term solution must be brought into the club.

Indeed, with Firpo having struggled with both the pace of the top flight and injuries in his debut campaign with the club – starting just 19 Premier League games largely as a result of a series of knocks and averaging an extremely disappointing SofaScore match rating of just 6.60 – and Dallas being ruled out until at least the turn of the year with a fractured femur, Marsch’s strength in depth at left-back is practically non-existent.

As such, it would appear as if targeting a dependable, talented and cost-effective option in the position would be an extremely smart move for Orta to make prior to next week’s transfer deadline – with Wagner very much looking to tick all three boxes.

Indeed, over his 27 MLS appearances in 2022, the £3.6m-rated full-back has highly impressed, helping Philadelphia keep 11 clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.9 interceptions, 1.3 tackles, 1.9 clearances and winning 3.5 duels – at a success rate of 55% – per game.

The defender has also caught the eye going forwards, registering five assists and creating seven big chances for his teammates, in addition to making an average of 2.6 key passes – the joint ninth-most in the league – and 2.9 crosses per fixture, with these returns seeing the German average a SofaScore match rating of 7.42 – ranking him as the eighth-best player in the division.

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Furthermore, with it being reported that Wagner could be available for a figure of around just $3m (£2.5m) this summer, not only would the 25-year-old appear to be an improvement on the Whites’ current options at the back, but he would also be an incredibly budget friendly target for Orta to pursue.

As such, the argument that the Spaniard deciding against a move for the Philadelphia full-back over the remainder of the summer transfer window would be a big mistake is an easy one to make – as not launching an offer for Wagner, and Firpo continuing with his poor form and injury record from last season this time around, could quite easily blow up in Orta’s face.

Article title: Leeds: Tom Bogert drops Kai Wagner update

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