Leeds United are interested in a deal to bring Nicolas Tagliafico to Elland Road this summer.
That’s according to a report by Leeds Live, who claimed that, with Junior Firpo looking set to miss the start of the upcoming Premier League campaign due to injury, Victor Orta could now make a late move for the Ajax left-back.
The report added that, with the 29-year-old believed to be eager to secure a move away from the Johan Cruijff ArenA ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, and Ajax apparently willing to part with the Argentina international, the Whites’ director of football could seal something of a bargain for the defender.
However, it is also claimed that Leeds will have to fight off a number of top-tier European clubs in order to bring the left-back to Elland Road, with Tagliafico being linked with the likes of Chelsea, Brighton & Hove Albion and Barcelona in the summer window.
Furthermore, Ligue 1 outfit Lyon are reported to have already reached an agreement in principle with Ajax regarding a €4m (£3.4m) deal for the 40-cap international, although the 29-year-old is thought to be waiting for a more lucrative offer.
While it is true that Tagliafico had fallen down Erik ten Hag’s left-back pecking order in Amsterdam last season – starting just nine league games in 2021/22 – the defender has more than proven in previous years that, when given the opportunity, he can pose a major threat from full-back.
Indeed, over his 24 Eredivisie appearances in 2019/20, the £9.9m-rated talent highly impressed, scoring three goals, registering four assists and creating seven big chances for his team-mates, in addition to taking 1.6 shots, making one key pass and completing 0.4 dribbles per game.
The full-back also impressed in a defensive capacity in that campaign, helping Ajax to keep eight clean sheets, along with making 2.5 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 2.1 clearances and winning 6.8 duels (at a success rate of 57%) per match.
The £44k-per-week Argentine was also in breathtaking form over his six Champions League outings in 2019/20, scoring one goal, providing one assist and creating one big chance for his team-mates. He also made 4.5 tackles, three interceptions and 2.7 clearances and won 9.2 duels (at a success rate of 59%) per match.
These metrics saw the player who Golazo dubbed a “top signing” and previously labelled “fierce” average a quite incredible SofaScore match rating of 7.50, ranking him as the joint 23rd-best performer in Europe’s most prestigious club competition that year.
As such, it is clear to see that, should Tagliafico be able to rediscover this level of form following a potential move to Elland Road for a fee as meagre as £3.4m, the defender would undoubtedly prove to be one of the bargains of the summer.
Therefore, we believe that, after being given the green light by both the player and Ajax, Orta must seal a deal for the 29-year-old this summer.