In Focus: Leeds target Fran Merida could prove to be an underwhelming signing

According to reports in the Daily Mail, Leeds United are considering making a move for Osasuna midfielder Fran Merida, who like recent addition Samu Saiz is playing in the second tier of Spanish football, after sending scouts to watch the former Arsenal man in action.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Leeds United may be top of the Championship table on goal difference going into Tuesday night’s fixtures following an impressive start to the campaign, but it hasn’t stopped Thomas Christiansen looking at players that could potentially improve his squad during the January transfer window and beyond.

The Daily Mail says that scouts from the Yorkshire outfit have been trailing the 27-year-old, who is in his second season with Osasuna following their relegation from La Liga last term, with a view to making a move for the Spaniard.

Merida has certainly had an interesting career having been on the books of Barcelona, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid during his career, but he has failed to settle down at any of those or Braga, Hercules, Atletico Paranaense and Huesca prior to joining Osasuna.

How has he done for them?

Ok, but not brilliant.

Merida, who usually operates as a central or defensive midfielder has made 25 appearances in all competitions since joining Osasuna in the summer of 2016, and he sometimes struggled to make the matchday squad on occasions in La Liga last term.

In 15 outings in the Spanish top flight, he did show his ability with the ball at his feet by successfully completing 12 of the 17 take-ons he attempted in what was a disappointing personal campaign for him and the club.

Would he be a good signing for Leeds?

It’s difficult to say.

Saiz has already made a huge impression at Elland Road and while Merida may have struggled to have a huge impact at Osasuna, there is no reason why he couldn’t with Leeds.

Of course he already has some experience of English football too from his time with Arsenal, and that would stand him in good stead if he did join the Championship outfit during the January transfer window or elsewhere in the future.

That said, the Yorkshire outfit look to be well stocked in the middle of the park right now with Kalvin Phillips, Eunan O’Kane, Ronaldo Vieira and Mateusz Klich, and they also have to start thinking about players that could make the jump up to the Premier League because of their promising start.

It’s hard to believe that Merida is good enough to do that, though.