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Leeds eye Mateusz Klich replacement in James Garner

Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch could finally axe one of Marcelo Bielsa’s most-trusted lieutenants amid emerging interest in one potential summer signing…

What’s the word?

According to The Sun earlier this month, the Yorkshire outfit will battle Premier League rivals Southampton to the signature of Manchester United midfielder James Garner, who has been impressing out on loan to Nottingham Forest.

Eurosport transfer insider Dean Jones has since added fuel to the fire by waxing lyrical about the Leeds target. He told GIVEMESPORT this weekend:

“James Garner has got massive potential and ambition. I think this is a key summer for him to decide what the next phase is.”

It’s thought that the 21-year-old would fall within the Whites’ budget plans, though the Manchester giants may only want to see the £3.6m-rated enforcer depart on loan.

Would Garner be an upgrade on Klich?

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Bye-bye Klich?

By signing Garner, whether that’s on loan or on a permanent basis, Marsch could stamp his mark down at Elland Road, shifting away from the Bielsa era.

One name in the firing line has to be Mateusz Klich – who despite regular inconsistencies and poor form kept his place in the side under the Argentine and continues to do so with the American at the helm.

However, he was withdrawn after just 45 minutes in their most recent outing, a 3-2 win over Wolves, meaning he has played the full 90 minutes just twice since January.

Garner’s arrival would provide the Polish veteran with some stiff competition and considering he’s 32 in the summer, it could be wise to move on and upgrade with a more youthful option, fit to play Marsch’s pressing demands.

The Red Devils gem has been a bundle of energy for Steve Cooper’s side in the Championship this term, where he ranks inside his top-six performers on the season.

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What scoreline does this iconic Leeds image belong to?

He has contributed at either end of the pitch, registering three goals and four assists, on top of an average of 1.8 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and a squad-high 1.8 key passes per game, so he’s being aggressive in his pursuit to win the ball back, as well as delivering in the final third, via WhoScored.

These are returns that far exceed that of Klich, who has managed fewer tackles (1.4), interceptions (0.4) and key passes (0.7) per game.

“Jimmy Garner, I think is a really good player, I really like him and the way he kicks the ball. He’s really aggressive off the ball too,” once claimed United teammate Bruno Fernandes to their official website.

Also dubbed “exceptional” by former Leeds shot-stopper Paul Robinson, Garner could well be a shrewd signing for director of football Victor Orta to make.

On the above evidence, the 21-year-old dynamo could be exactly what Marsch needs to improve the engine room – it’s time to move on from some of Bielsa’s favourites, starting with Klich.

AND in other news, Forget Raphinha: Marsch heading for big Leeds nightmare over £42m-rated “rare talent”