Leeds United have reportedly submitted a bid for one of the World Cup’s breakthrough stars…
That’s according to French publication Foot Mercato, which claim that the Whites have already made an offer for Angers midfielder Azzedine Ounahi.
The Moroccan had starred in Qatar, and such has earned plenty of suitors.
Yet, it seems like Victor Orta’s pursuit could bear instant fruit, as they seem the most decisive party of late.
With Leicester City having reportedly been quoted a €45m (£39m) fee back in December, it seems this will not be a cheap deal for the Yorkshire outfit.
With Marc Roca and Tyler Adams having graced Elland Road in the summer window, it seems that Jesse Marsch seems set to sign the final piece to his midfield puzzle by adding a bridge between attack and defence in Ounahi.
Beside Sofyan Amrabat, the 22-year-old forged one of the World Cup’s most formidable midfields, helping the African side become the first on their continent to reach the semi-finals of the competition.
Earning a 6.97 rating, he would manage 0.9 key passes alongside 1.0 interceptions and 1.3 tackles via Sofascore, spurring Jose Mourinho to laud him as “absolutely incredible”.
However, what made him truly impressive was his ability to pick up the ball and drive forward, beating players and then boasting the quality to find the right pass.
This was further supplemented by his 83% pass accuracy and 83% dribble success rate, via Sofascore.
These are clearly traits translated into his domestic form, where he ranks in the top 1% for dribbles completed compared to positionally similar players in Europe’s top five leagues.
Sitting in a slightly advanced role ahead of Roca and Adams, who are recording 2.2 and 4.0 tackles per game respectively in the Premier League, could allow the Moroccan to help make the transition between the back four into their potent front three more fluid.
His ranking in the top 5% for progressive passes received suggests he could play this role to perfection, and in turn, offer the perfect balance to a Leeds midfield still recovering from the summer exit of Kalvin Phillips.