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Leeds: Nicolo Zaniolo is a Brenden Aaronson upgrade

Leeds United were fairly clinical in their pursuit of Max Wober and Georginio Rutter as they tied up deals for both with minimal fuss.

In quick succession, director of football Victor Orta had bolstered both the attack and the defence, leaving only the midfield untouched thus far.

With a solid foundation already in place with Tyler Adams and Marc Roca, it seemed somewhat foolish to break up a partnership that was blossoming with each passing game week.

As such, it seems like the only position worth strengthening remains in attacking midfield, especially given how Brenden Aaronson has struggled to acclimatise to the English game.

Despite showing flashes of brilliance, his 6.57 average Sofascore rating is admittedly not at the level required for Jesse Marsch to achieve success. It was clearly a transfer of his choosing, given their shared nationality and time worked together at Red Bull Salzburg.

Therefore, it is a move that he will bear the brunt of any backlash he receives.

The American boss may have already admitted defeat on his £24.7m summer signing, as reports are circling that link the Whites with a move for wantaway AS Roma maestro Nicolo Zaniolo.

A number of Premier League clubs have been put on high alert by this news, with the Italian outfit demanding a fee of around €40m (£35m) to sanction his exit.

Should the Yorkshire outfit secure this deal, not only would it mark a huge coup for a club languishing towards the wrong end of the table, but it would finally offer a viable alternative that could see Aaronson benched for his poor performances.

Once described as a “frightening talent” by journalist Ben Jacobs, across his short career to date, the 23-year-old has offered glimpses into the star he might become.

Should Aaronson be dropped?





His five goal contributions this season somewhat downplay his talents, as it was only last season that he scored eight and assisted nine across a campaign.

As a consistent offensive threat, the Italian ranks in the top 4% for total shots per 90 when compared to other attacking midfielders across Europe, and last season married this with 1.0 key passes per game too.

Meanwhile, Aaronson’s only real outstanding attribute is his defensive qualities, which make him a useful asset for the high-pressing structure employed by his manager, but somewhat useless elsewhere.

The 22-year-old ranks in the top 4% for blocks when compared to the same group as Zaniolo.

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Can you get 100% on this Leeds World Cup transfer quiz? Question 1. After starring for England at the 2002 World Cup, how much did Leeds sell Rio Ferdinand to Manchester United for?

It is clear the two are specialised and very different midfielders, but it is clear that the experiment with the American maestro is failing.

Perhaps an injection of European flair could spark him into form, or see him ditched in favour of a big upgrade.