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Leeds: Matheus Cunha can be perfect Rodrigo heir

Leeds United are one of several Premier League teams showing interest in a superb talent…

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According to an Italian transfer specialist, the bidding for Atletico Madrid’s maestro Matheus Cunha has officially begun.

The Whites are namedropped in the report, but will seemingly have to battle with the likes of Everton, Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers for the 23-year-old’s signature.

Although reportedly further away from a deal than the Midlands outfits, it is said that nothing is 100% done yet and they are still “in the race”. Time remains on Victor Orta’s side.

Rodrigo heir

Although his then club-record £26m move had seemed to disappoint, Rodrigo seems to have sprung into life this season in front of goal.

The Spaniard has stepped up to shoulder the team’s goalscoring burden, notching nine times in the Premier League across just 13 appearances.

Having been deployed further up the pitch, as a lone central forward or even a shadow striker, it seems the 31-year-old is finally finding his feet at Elland Road after a tumultuous start.

He has already surpassed his previous tally in the league since his move to Yorkshire, with fans and pundits alike beginning to grumble about his lack of productivity to match his transfer fee.

Former Whites defender Neil Aspin even claimed: “I’m not one who wants to criticise players, but he hasn’t done enough since he’s been here.”

Now, given his seniority and improved performances, they will actively be seeking a replacement for this season’s top scorer.

In Cunha, they could find the perfect man to take the mantle when Rodrigo departs.

The Brazilian – who joined Atletico Madrid in a £22m move in the summer of 2021 – has somewhat struggled this season after a fine debut campaign in which he scored seven and assisted six more.

Boasting immense creativity paired with an eye for goal, the man who his former club RB Leipzig dubbed a “magician”, ranks in the top 4% of positionally similar players across Europe’s big five leagues for assists per 90.

However, what will interest Marsch most is that he also sits in the top 7% for tackles, the top 4% for interceptions and the top 2% for blocks, via FBRef.

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Not only would he bring added offensive firepower to Yorkshire, but he boasts the work rate needed to survive in the American’s all-action system.

Cunha could more than make up for the attacking output of Rodrigo and has shown he can more than compete with the physical demands of a Diego Simeone side.