If you could pluck two words from the dictionary to describe Leeds’ season they could be ‘swashbuckling’ and ‘inconsistent’.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men play vibrant attacking football but at the same time, are often left wanting in defence. That was evident during their 4-2 defeat to Arsenal. At the back, they were a shambles but going forward, they caused plenty of problems.
Of course, injuries have wreaked havoc with their ambitions thus far. Diego Llorente, Liam Cooper and Robin Koch have all endured spells on the treatment table but another problem has been in midfield.
Not having a real alternative to Kalvin Phillips at the base is becoming an increasing issue while the attacking numbers of Mateusz Klich and Rodrigo leave plenty to be desired.
With that in mind, could yet more spending be on the cards in the summer? If those linked with the exit door depart, then it will surely become a necessity. Tyler Roberts nearly departed in January while Pablo Hernandez is attracting interest from Spain once more.
Thus, just imagine what a light sprinkling of Rodrigo de Paul could do for this side. Leeds supporters must be sick to death of hearing his name this term but if they’d splashed out the costly sum of £35m+ last summer, he would have been their player.
The Argentine teased a move on social media but he’s remained at Udinese in Italy. He’s very quickly become one of the most creative players in Serie A, something his performance on Sunday testified.
In fact, his performance will surely have left Victor Orta salivating from the mouth. The Spaniard is one of De Paul’s keenest admirers and it would be a great surprise if they didn’t renew their interest in the coming months.
After all, he’d certainly plug a gap of quality in central areas. De Paul has scored five times in 2020/21 but more importantly, has been a hub of creativity. Per WhoScored, he has amassed 2.5 key passes per game – more than anyone in the Leeds side – while registering 3.5 dribbles per match. Once again, that tally usurps every Leeds player.
The attacking midfielder’s latest virtuoso performance came at the weekend. He produced five key passes – providing an assist for one goal in Udinese’s 2-2 draw with Parma. On top of that, the 26-year-old was successful with five take-ons and won ten ground duels.
De Paul would often drift into the right-hand side and based on that, he could generate quite the link-up with Raphinha if he came to Elland Road.
The Brazilian has been a brilliant capture and has managed three assists and two goals in his last six outings. Imagine what he could do alongside a player as good as De Paul…
It’s certainly an exciting prospect for Leeds supporters to think about.