Leeds United could be planning for the future if emerging reports are to be believed…
According to the Mirror, the Yorkshire giants are considering a move for young Liverpool gem Yasser Larouci, who is set to leave Anfield on a free transfer this summer.
The 20-year-old has found game time hard to come by this season and will depart the defending Premier League champions upon the expiry of his current contract.
Larouci was part of the Reds’ youth side that won the 2019 FA Youth Cup and is a player who the Whites have been interested in before, as Marcelo Bielsa tried to bring him to Elland Road last summer.
It’s easy to see why the Argentine cult hero would be keen to sign the youngster as he fits the typical bill of a ‘Bielsa signing’ – young, hungry, bundles of energy, and a good background behind him having graduated from the famed Le Harve academy, which the ex-Marseille man will know well.
After all, it’s where one of his former left-backs – Benjamin Mendy – started out. In some ways, Bielsa would be getting a new Mendy, but more importantly, someone who is fit to replace Stuart Dallas in the role long term.
The Irishman, dubbed the Cookstown Cafu, has played in a multitude of positions but it is on the left where he has thrived most, playing there 17 times last term (more than any other role) on his way to winning United’s ‘Player of the Year’ award.
We know that Bielsa loves Dallas for his versatility, and this is something that Larouci could bring to Yorkshire in abundance after featuring in no fewer than six different positions in his relatively short career to date.
Though, unlike the 29-year-old, the young Liverpool starlet is a defender by trade, so should be more suited to the expansive system the Argentine deploys.
Larouci offers the same sort of pace, athleticism and strength that would be required to fulfil such a role, too. His former U18s boss Barry Lewtas waxed lyrical about these attributes, he said:
“He is lightning quick and a real good personality. Because he is so quick it helps in his one-v-one defending, he is aggressive and is good when he runs into the big spaces and he arrives well in terms of forward runs.”
That only bolsters the view that he’d be a player that Bielsa would absolutely dream about signing. He’s not far off being in a similar mould to Dallas, on the above evidence, and with the Leeds manager’s coaching, he will only thrive at such a crucial stage in his career.
Considering it won’t cost Andrea Radrizzani a penny, the move would be pretty risk-free too, which only adds to the appeal of signing Larouci in the summer.
Victor Orta must now make a play for the 20-year-old gem.