Beren Cross has dropped an update on reported Leeds United transfer target Raphael Guerreiro.
In a recent Q&A on Leeds Live, the journalist suggested that, despite reports linking Victor Orta with a move for the Borussia Dortmund left-back this summer, he has not heard anything about the Whites’ interest in the 28-year-old.
Cross also stated his belief that nothing about the link appears to make sense, as it has been made abundantly clear that Junior Firpo will be Jesse Marsch’s first choice in the position this season, and it seems unlikely that the Portugal international would be willing to move to Elland Road simply to sit on the bench.
In response to a question concerning Leeds’ reported interest in the Dortmund defender, the journalist said: “I’ve not had any information on Guerreiro specifically, but nothing about that link makes sense.
“Firpo is their number one left-back, that’s been made abundantly clear to us, so a 28-year-old from Dortmund is not going to come in and sit on the bench or ask for backup wages. It just doesn’t tally with any of the business they’ve done this summer.”
Considering just how short Marsch currently is at left-back, in addition to Firpo having struggled with injuries and the pace of the Premier League in his debut campaign with the Whites last time out, the argument that Orta should make a move for Guerreiro in the coming weeks is an easy one to make.
Indeed, over his 24 league outings – only 19 of which came as starts – last season, the £10.8m-rated Firpo struggled to make any real impression on the left of Leeds’ backline. He averaged a disappointing SofaScore match rating of just 6.60, ranking him as the club’s seventh-worst performer in the top flight in 2021/22.
Furthermore, with the £42k-per-week defender missing a number of games last term due to injury, and having already been sidelined for the first two fixtures of the Whites’ 2022/23 campaign with a knock to his knee, it is clear to see that the former Barcelona player is not the most dependable option for Marsch to call upon.
As such, it would indeed appear a wise move for Orta to bring in backup at left-back prior to September’s transfer deadline, with Guerreiro very much looking to be something of a dream addition to Marsch’s squad.
Indeed, over his 23 Bundesliga appearances last season, the £22.5m-rated talent was in remarkable attacking form, scoring four goals, registering two assists and creating one big chance for his team-mates. He also made 1.2 key passes, took 1.4 shots and completed 1.1 dribbles per game.
The £57k-per-week defender also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making 1.5 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 0.6 clearances and 49.8 passes and winning 3.2 duels (at a success rate of 52%) per game.
These returns saw the player who Edin Terzic dubbed “amazing” average a SofaScore match rating of 6.91. If he had achieved that at Leeds last season, it would have ranked him as the club’s fourth-best performer in the Premier League.
As such, it is clear to see that the €25m-valued (£21m) left-back would very much be an amazing signing for Orta to get over the line this summer. Guerreiro would not only provide Marsch with much-needed depth, he would also appear a serious contender to become the Whites’ first choice on the left-hand side of their defence this season.