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Leeds: Orta could land the next Gelhardt in King swoop

Leeds United could unearth their next Joe Gelhadrt in reported transfer target Leon King.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to Pete O’Rourke, who stated his belief in a recent interview with GIVEMESPORT that, with Victor Orta known to be actively looking for exciting young talent to add to Jesse Marsch’s squad at Elland Road, the Glasgow Rangers centre-back would be a signing similar to the Spaniard’s 2020 capture of Gelhadrt from Wigan Athletic.

Regarding the Whites’ reported interest in the 18-year-old, the journalist said: “I think he would be of a similar ilk [to Gelhardt]. I think Leon King’s probably played more first-team football than Joe Gelhardt had when he arrived from Wigan. But Leeds are looking at younger players, not just for the first team, but also for the U21s, which is very strong as well, so they are building for the future.”

The next Gelhardt

While it is true that King does not exactly boast a wealth of first-team experience – having so far featured just 19 times for Rangers, the vast majority of which have come this season – considering the hype currently surrounding the defender, it is not difficult to see why Orta would be keen on a deal to bring the teenager to Elland Road.

Indeed, injuries to the likes of Connor Goldson, Filip Helander and John Souttar have forced Giovanni van Bronckhorst to deploy the Scotland U21 international in the heart of his defence in some incredibly crucial games this season, including four of Gers’ Champions League fixtures and six of the club’s Premiership matches.

And, despite the Scottish side having been on the end of some very heavy defeats in Europe’s most prestigious club competition, King has undoubtedly been one of the brightest sparks in Rangers’ Champions League jaunt, making an impressive average of 2.5 tackles, one interception, 2.3 clearances and winning 3.3 duels – at a success rate of 50% – per game.

His performances in Europe have also earned praise from a number of onlookers, with Jurgen Klopp stating his belief that the teenager had a “good game” in Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Gers, while Alex McLeish also praised the £90k-rated talent’s display against the Reds, claiming that King looked “calm and composed” and was “tremendous” against the Premier League outfit.

As such, while the youngster is most certainly still an extremely raw talent, it is undeniable that the centre-back possesses the potential to go on and enjoy an extremely successful career at the very top level of the game, something that could also easily be said of Gelhardt.

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Indeed, the 20-year-old forward has already made 30 appearances for the Whites’ first team, scoring two goals and providing four assists along the way, with Phil Hay dubbing the England U21 international as “one of the club’s biggest talents“.

So, should Orta manage to get a deal over the line for King, considering his impressive returns in the Champions League this season, the Scotsman may well just go on to make a similar impact to that of Gelhardt at Elland Road – a prospect that is sure to be incredibly tantalising for both Jesse Marsch and supporters of the club alike.

Article title: Leeds: Orta could land the next Gelhardt in King swoop

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