Leeds United are interested in a deal to bring Raphael Guerreiro to Elland Road this summer.
That’s according to Dean Jones, with the transfer insider revealing in a recent interview with GIVEMESPORT that, despite the Borussia Dortmund left-back having been linked with the likes of Manchester City in the current transfer window, Victor Orta is also considering a move for the 28-year-old in the coming weeks.
Earlier reports suggested that the Bundesliga side would be willing to part with the Portugal international for a figure in the region of €25m (£21m) this summer, a fee that would appear to be well within reach for the Whites.
Regarding Leeds’ interest in the defender, Jones said: “Raphael Guerreiro is a name I’ve heard mentioned. There are a few that they’re looking at. It might be that they end up doing a loan or something from one of Europe’s bigger clubs once they know that there are people that don’t fit into the plans elsewhere.”
Considering just how talented a full-back Guerreiro undoubtedly is, it is not difficult to see why the reigning Premier League champions were interested in his signing this summer, nor is it hard to understand why Orta is believed to be keen on a deal to bring the 56-cap international to Elland Road prior to September’s transfer deadline.
Indeed, with it being well known that the Whites’ director of football is looking to add a new left-back to Jesse Marsch’s first team squad in the coming weeks – with both Junior Firpo and Stuart Dallas currently being ruled out due to injury – there would not appear to be many better options than the Dortmund defender.
According to FBref, the £22.5m-rated talent ranks in the top 5% of full-backs in Europe’s big five leagues and European competitions for non-penalty goals per 90, as well as the top 4% for shots, the top 11% for shot-creating actions, the top 13% for non-penalty xG and the top 16% for progressive passes received over the last 365 days.
These metrics clearly prove that Guerreiro – who Edin Terzic dubbed both “amazing” and claimed “makes things happen” – is one of the most deadly European full-backs currently playing the game, with it coming as no surprise that FBref list Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo, Chelsea’s Reece James and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold as his most comparable players.
Furthermore, the £57k-per-week defender also ranks in the top 2% of full-backs for progressive passes per 90, in addition to the top 5% for passes attempted, the top 10% for passes completed, the top 16% for progressive carries and the top 19% for dribbles completed over the past 12 months – once again proving his efficiency when bringing the ball forwards for his side.
This is a trait Guerreiro himself commented on in an interview with Bundesliga.com last year, with the Portuguese sensation stating: “My style is to get the ball and build play. I’m a left-back but I often think like an attacking midfielder, in the sense that I try to find passes in between the lines.
“I rarely play the ball backwards. If the pitch is blocked, I try to pass it backwards, of course. But I’m always looking forward. And I’m always looking to find my midfielders, who are in the position to create a chance themselves. My job is to initiate play and to break the lines, and then the other players take care of what happens after that.
“But there are different kinds of left-back. There are those who get the ball and cross it automatically. There are those who always look to take on their man. That’s not my style.
“When I have the ball, I look to create opportunities, I step inside if there are no options on the wing. I also adapt my game depending on the match, and whether my teammates are moving or not. I don’t change my style, but I’m always looking to adapt to the game.”
As such, it is clear to see that Guerreiro would indeed be an amazing player for Orta to bring to Elland Road in the coming weeks, as the left-back undoubtedly possesses the ability to take the Whites to a whole new level in the Premier League this season – and appears to be something of a bargain at £21m.