Leeds United have brought in no fewer than three new signings this transfer window and they aren’t finished just yet…
According to The Athletic’s Phil Hay, the Yorkshiremen are interested in Atalanta playmaker Ruslan Malinovskyi as talks over a deal for Udinese’s Rodrigo De Paul appear to be going ‘nowhere.’
This comes just a few days after the Telegraph first reported the news, claiming the Ukraine international would be a cheaper option at just £20m.
It’s also suggested that Marcelo Bielsa is looking for competition to Pablo Hernandez, who will turn 36 before the end of the current campaign.
Well, the Argentine mastermind had a ready-made successor lying in wait before he sold him on in Samuel Saiz and with a move for De Paul stalling, Malinovskyi could make a ton of sense.
Atalanta stunned many last season with impressive displays in both Serie A and the Champions League and the 27-year-old attacking midfielder played a crucial role in that.
Per WhoScored, he provided nine goals and four assists whilst averaging 2.3 shots, 1.4 dribbles and 1.4 key passes per game – in fact nearly three of his passes each match led to a shot amongst this goal-hungry Atalanta side.
In the past, Malinovskyi has made it clear that he’d like to one day play in the Premier League, so maybe a swoop for him could work in Leeds’ favour.
One of his biggest assets is his pass-making ability and without Hernandez, the Whites lack the ability to unlock the opposition’s defence – his 82.5% passing accuracy provides some encouragement.
Saiz’s first season at Elland Road saw him reap the rewards, providing five goals and seven assists whilst averaging 2.4 dribbles and 1.9 key passes each game, via WhoScored.
Malinovskyi is in a very similar mould, so it’s no wonder Bielsa is keen.
AND in other news, Leeds to revisit ‘special’ £20m-rated speedster with bid…