Leeds United must make a move for one of the World Cup’s breakout stars this January, and the rumours suggest they might just be planning to…
That’s according to Pete O’Rourke, who was full of praise for the exploits of Azzedine Ounahi this winter.
Speaking to Football FanCast, the transfer insider gave his thoughts on reports surrounding the 22-year-old:
“Yeah, I think Ounahi was probably one of the standouts, breakthrough performances of the World Cup for Morocco.
“Not a lot of people had heard of him before the World Cup, but they definitely know about him now. I think, again, he’s got all the attributes to be a top midfielder and I think his style of play would suit the Premier League as well.”
With Leicester City reportedly readying a €45m (£39m) bid, it is clearly a saga that will be about securing the man for the best possible fee.
Although the summer additions of Marc Roca and Tyler Adams had somewhat revolutionised a midfield that lost Kalvin Phillips, it seems that Victor Orta still feels something is missing in the engine room.
Clearly, he is seeking that energy and class in Morocco’s midfield stalwart, who, beside Sofyan Amrabat, underpinned an integral part of their historic run to the semi-finals.
Throughout the tournament, he boasted a 6.97 average rating, which was supplemented by his 0.9 key passes per game and 83% dribble success rate (via Sofascore).
This desire to push forward was married with a defensive stability that helped his side transition to such great effect, as he also recorded 1.3 tackles and 1.0 interceptions per game too.
He was so impressive that even Jose Mourinho had to label him “absolutely incredible” in the media.
These are performances not saved strictly for this competition however, as despite their abysmal season he has played admirably for Angers too.
He actually ranks in the top 1% for dribbles completed and maintains his defensive numbers of 1.4 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per game too.
It seems that the World Cup only served to prove his qualities on the biggest stage, but domestically he has maintained those levels.
Now, he could take one further step up and join the Yorkshire outfit’s desperate scramble for safety once more.