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Leeds dodged a bullet with Charles De Ketelaere

Leeds United would have been gutted to miss out on the signing of Charles De Ketelaere during the summer transfer window but life for the Belgian maestro since then has been far from smooth.

According to Italian transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, the Yorkshire oufit were prepared to shatter their club-record fee to sign the 21-year-old dynamo, having submitted a €35m (£30.5m) bid to Club Brugge in mid-July.

But De Ketelaere was prioritising a switch to Serie A giants AC Milan and he got his wish just a couple of weeks later as the Rossoneri paid around the same price for his signature in the end.

Should Leeds have signed De Ketelaere?





Perhaps the ten-cap international was too lofty a target for chairman Andrea Radrizzani and director of football Victor Orta to get over the line but the ambition was there, off the back of their final-day survival from relegation last term.

Now, several months later, that initial disappointment should be a thing of the past as De Ketelaere has struggled to replicate the form that has led to Kevin De Bruyne comparisons and him to be dubbed the “complete package” by talent scout Jacek Kulig, as well as why Leeds were so keen to bring his services to Elland Road.

The Athletic’s Phil Hay spoke about the youngster’s performances for the Italian outfit on his podcast recently. “The shoot for the moon signings look great on paper and are fantastic if you make them happen, although De Ketelaere isn’t having a happy time at AC Milan from what I can gather,” he said.

Indeed, as per Transfermarkt, De Ketelaere has failed to score and has provided just one assist from 18 appearances across all competitions.

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A stark contrast to his extraordinary 18 goals and ten assists last season, suggesting that he may have struggled to adapt from the Jupiler Pro League, given the step up in quality of opposition and talent.

Meanwhile, over in west Yorkshire, attacking midfielder Brendan Aaronson has looked the part with three direct goal contributions from his 14 Premier League appearances, having had to adapt from a similar level to the Belgian top-flight in the Austrian Bundesliga.

As such, it’s clear that Orta and Leeds dodged a £30.5m bullet and the fact that De Ketelaere rejected them in favour of Milan is currently looking like an absolute blessing in disguise.

AND in other news,  Leeds could seal “real coup” in £81k-p/w dynamo who’s a “huge upgrade” on Bielsa flop

Article title: Leeds dodged a bullet with Charles De Ketelaere

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