Leeds United’s midfield search could take them back into the Championship this month.
The Yorkshire giants are said to hold an interest in Blackburn Rovers dynamo John Buckley, as revealed by reporter Dharmesh Sheth on Sky Sports last week (14th January, 11:24am).
Buckley signed a new long-term deal last February, so he may well command a ‘substantial bid’ to prise him away from Ewood Park before deadline day on January 31st.
But the 22-year-old gem is the perfect fit for manager Marcelo Bielsa.
“He’s a centre-midfielder which is a position Leeds desperately need to strengthen in. He’s versatile as well which is a bonus, so it’s a big signing if they can do it,” claimed former Premier League talisman Kevin Phillips to Football Insider.
Indeed, the Whites are in desperate need of reinforcements, particularly in the Argentinian’s engine room, where there has not been an addition in four years when Adam Forshaw joined from Middlesbrough.
Buckley, a product of Rovers’ youth academy, has been ever-so-important to Tony Mowbray and his side’s fortunes this season – as per WhoScored, he is among their most creative options, having registered seven assists and 1.2 key passes per game but he also leads the squad for tackles (2.5 per game) too.
“The future is bright for John Buckley and this football club because he’s such a talented boy,” claimed the Blackburn boss back in March. “This boy will play in the Premier League in my opinion.”
He has also lauded him as an “exciting talent” in the past.
The 5 foot 8 midfielder seems like a powerful and industrious presence in the heart of the pitch. An all-rounder with that cutting edge both in attack and in defence.
You could draw some comparisons to that of Leeds legend David Batty, who at 5 foot 7 was more than just an enforcer at Elland Road.
He gave his all for the club in what talkSPORT describe as the ‘Claude Makelele position’ before the Frenchman made it ‘cool’ and whilst he may not have had the same glistening career or technical ability, there are certainly similarities to be made.
Capable of dictating play but also being hugely resolute in the engine room, Buckley could well become Leeds’ next Batty if the Yorkshire outfit manages to secure a move for him this month.
Ironically, the United icon did go onto play for Blackburn Rovers – where he won the Premier League – before returning to the club.
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