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Leeds United agree January transfer deal for Mateo Joseph Fernandez

Even though Leeds United have one of the youngest squads in the Premier League with an average age of 24.8, just slightly more than Brentford’s average squad age of 24.7 according to Transfermarkt, it seems as though the Yorkshire club could be welcoming another young talent to Elland Road.

It has recently been reported by the Daily Mail that Leeds have a deal in place to sign Espanyol’s 18-year-old striker Mateo Joseph Fernandez.

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The report also claims that Fernandez had a release clause of £1.3m but was out of contract in the summer. Leeds initially offered around £420,000 before increasing their bid and reaching an agreement, beating the likes of Barcelona, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal to the youngster’s signature.

If the report is true and Fernandez does end up at Leeds in January, this could well be Victor Orta’s latest transfer masterclass at the Yorkshire club following previous signings like Raphinha who has scored 12 goals and provided ten assists in 44 appearances since arriving from Rennes back in October last year.

Described as a player that has “great potential” within him by Javier Rodriguez Alonso, the hierarchy must have seen something in the young attacker to make them work out a deal for him.

Given the other clubs reportedly interested in the teenager and the fact that Leeds apparently managed to secure Fernandez for a fee lower than his release clause, this shows what a good bit of business it could be from a financial point of view.

However, only time will tell if the club were right to go for him based on what he delivers on the pitch for them.

Taking into account his young age, it seems unlikely that Fernandez will immediately be dropped into Marcelo Bielsa’s squad, however, the player could one day become a regular first-team player at LS11 if he grows and develops in the youth ranks.

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Leeds have the likes of Joe Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood in and around the senior squad at the moment, and these are the sort of players that Fernandez will have to be emulating if he wants to break into that side in the future and potentially become a long-term heir for Patrick Bamford.

Consider the amount of goals he’s scored at youth level and it looks as though Leeds have plucked out a gem here, though. He found the net on 15 occasions in 2018/19, before racking up another 15 in the following campaign. Last term, the young forward scored one fewer, taking his tally in the last three seasons to an impressive 44.

If he can replicate that at Elland Road, it would be nothing short of a masterclass from the Leeds recruitment team. Leeds fans have already taken to young Gelhardt and a similar-minded player in Fernandez would surely go down well at Thorp Arch.

Bielsa has proven in the past that he has what it takes to develop young players with Kalvin Phillips now an England regular, Illan Meslier the youngest goalkeeper to 50 Premier League appearances and Pascal Struijk now a key member of the team too.

With that in mind, it’s clear Orta has a plan in place, one that could be a masterstroke if Leeds manage to cement themselves in the top-flight.

In other news: Orta could win over Leeds fans by securing stunning swoop for £9m-rated “goalscorer” – opinion

Article title: Leeds United agree January transfer deal for Mateo Joseph Fernandez

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