When the summer transfer window rolls around, there will be one thing that Leeds simply have to prioritise; their midfield.
Last year, Leeds did their best to bolster their midfield ranks. Michael Cuisance had his foot in the door but in true Dan James style, the move somehow fell through.
The French midfielder had agreed a deal and was all set to sign for Marcelo Bielsa’s men before the Whites pulled the plug following a reported problem with his medical.
Since then, they’ve been rather stretched in the middle of the park. Whenever Kalvin Phillips has been out, they’ve looked suspect. Pascal Struijk has impressed in defence but when moved forward to feature in midfield, it’s not gone well at all.
Leeds have lost their matches by an aggregate score of 15-6 when the Dutchman has played in front of the back four.
With that in mind, signing another midfielder should be at the top of their wish list in a few months time.
Last summer, the Whites were linked with a move for AZ Alkmaar midfielder Teun Koopmeiners. There has been an update on his future in recent weeks with Phil Hay stating clubs from Italy were circling ahead of the next window.
The player’s agent admits a move could be on the cards and thus, he’s become a player that Hay thinks Victor Orta should lure to Elland Road.
He put a piece together for The Athletic this week that detailed potential options to solve Leeds’ midfield conundrum. In the process, he said there was a lot to like about the Dutchman and that’s evident when you look at the stats.
A goal-scoring midfielder who is also adept defensively, the 23-year-old has quite a few similarities to a certain Mateusz Klich.
The Pole has been a fantastic servant under Bielsa and until this season, he’d never missed a league match with the Argentine at the helm. In his two years in the Championship, Klich scored 16 times and also amassed 14 assists.
Koopmeiners, however, also knows where the back of the net is. He’s scored 42 goals for AZ, 16 of which have come this season. On top of that, the Netherlands international also has seven assists to his name in 2020/21.
Already, you can see why we’re comparing him to Klich. Blessed with the ability to play in a holding role or slightly further forward, the duo are both strong in the tackle.
Coincidentally, that’s just 0.1 fewer than Koopmeiners has won in the same division this term. With Leeds looking for more cover defensively and additional goals from their midfield, he’d be the ideal transfer acquisition.