Friday, July 30, 2021

Leeds’ potential Premier League transfer raid this summer?

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Counting down the days until they mark their Premier League return with a mouthwatering showdown against Liverpool at Anfield on September 12th, many are excited to see how Leeds will fair after ending their 16 years in exile.

While all eyes might still remain on Marcelo Bielsa and when he will extend on his current deal, it is expected to be an eventful summer for the top-flight returners and they have been open about adding to their squad over the next month.

Although Bielsa might have been disappointed by the news that they will not be able to make Ben White’s move from Brighton a permanent one, who are the other Premier League stars who could be on their way to West Yorkshire this summer?

James Milner – Liverpool

While Leeds might be opening their Premier League campaign against the defending champions on Merseyside next month, could one of Jurgen Klopp’s stars be lining up against them?

Starting his career off at Leeds and still seen as a real cult figure in West Yorkshire, James Milner was only used as a bit-part player by Klopp last year and could see his game time even more hindered this season.

Although the former England international might have only signed a new deal at Anfield until 2022 back in December, the Reds have remained heavily linked with Bayern Munich’s Thiago this summer and his arrival would only see the versatile veteran fall further down Klopp’s pecking order.

Also watching starlet Nico Williams cement his spot as Andy Robertson’s deputy at left-back, Milner could be looking for a move back home in search of regular appearances and is already priced at 3/1 with Betfair to make a return to Elland Road.

Showing no signs of letting up despite turning 34 at the start of the year, Milner has only continued to show his relentless energy and there is no doubt that Belisa would jump at the chance to bring in a model professional with an abundance of Premier League experience.

Michy Batshuayi – Chelsea

Although leading marksman Patrick Bamford might have bagged 16 Championship strikes last season, it is no secret that Bielsa and fans around Elland Road are desperate to bolster their attacking options this summer.

In search of someone to challenge the former Chelsea starlet, Leeds are reportedly eyeing a swoop for another striker who appears to be desperate to make a move away from West London.

Making just a handful of appearances and often not even making Frank Lampard’s matchday squad at Stamford Bridge, Michy Batshuayi is almost certain to be leaving the Blues this month, especially with Timo Werner making his arrival from RB Leipzig.

While The Daily Mail might be reporting that Bielsa’s side face stiff competition from Atalanta in the race to secure the Belgium internationals signature this summer, Leeds are confident of landing a £20million deal.

Previously working under Bielsa and a huge admirer of the 65-year-old tactician, Batshuayi scored 10 goals in 29 appearances under the Argentine when the pair worked together at Ligue 1 outfit Marseille and a reunion at Elland Road could be on the cards.

Rob Holding – Arsenal

Watching their third bid of £25million for Ben White knocked back by Brighton and the Seagulls making it clear they have no intention of allowing the 22-year-old to make his move to Elland Road a permanent one, Leeds have now turned their attention elsewhere in a bid to secure defensive cover.

One name that has emerged as a real possibility this summer is Arsenal’s ball-playing central defender, Rob Holding.

Someone who undoubtedly matches the criteria that Bielsa is seeking over the next month, it is being reported by The Sun that Mikel Arteta has put the 24-year-old up for sale, despite many at the Emirates feeling he was a future captain.

With Sky Sports breaking the news on Monday that the Gunners are inching towards a £27million deal with Lille for Gabriel Magalhaes, Holding knows that game time at the Emirates could be sporadic this year.

Also competing against the likes of William Saliba who has returned to Arsenal after a season-long loan with Saint-Etienne, Holding managed to muster just eight Premier League appearances last year after dealing with a serious knee injury.

With former Whites star Noel Whelan telling Football Insider that the Arsenal star would offer Leeds “undoubted quality”, Holding could see a move to Elland Road as a chance to kickstart his career.


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan



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