Rodrigo, Kent, Koch - Good enough signings for Leeds to compete?
24 Aug 2020 08:40 am, by YorkshireSquare
With Brighton ruling out a deal for Ben White and just under three weeks until the start of the season at Anfield it is time for Leeds United to move onto their other targets and get some deals done. Robin Koch has emerged as the likely alternative to Ben White to partner captain Liam Cooper in central defence. The Freiburg centre-back who has been capped twice for Germany is regarded as one of the best ball-playing centre-backs in the Bundesliga. The German side want to cash in on Koch now rather than see him leave on a free at the end of the season and a fee of around £20 million could secure his services. Leeds do face competition from Spurs, Newcastle, Lazio and Leipzig however but Angus Kinnear had intimated Leeds were well progressed with their central defensive alternative and Koch is strongly rumoured to be that option.
Marcelo Bielsa was extremely keen to sign Ryan Kent from Liverpool last summer but the two clubs could not reach an agreement. Leeds would not budge from £5 million but Liverpool wanted closer to £10 million. Kent eventually moved to Rangers, where he had been on loan the previous season, for £6.5 million making 21 appearances and scoring 7 goals. It seems though that Bielsa is still keen on the young winger who can play right across the attacking line, perhaps the Argentinian sees Kent as a potential heir to Pablo Hernandez in attacking midfield. Leeds have had their initial offer of £10m rejected, receiving a ‘hands off’ warning from Steven Gerrard but if Bielsa is keen enough to reignite interest it’s likely an improved offer will be made.
Perhaps the most unrealising of the strongest of the recent rumours is that concerning Valencia striker Rodrigo. The 29-year-old netted 7 times and made 11 assists in 34 in all competitions appearances last season including a few goals and assists in the Champions League. Rodrigo has played as a winger, number ten but most often as an out an out striker. In 220 appearances for Valencia he has scored 59 goals and made 41 assists. Those aren’t the stats of a goal hanging number nine but also show he is clearly a talented and highly rated player to have so many goals and assists in one of Europe’s top leagues. Could he be the option we have been looking for to boost Leeds United’s strike force?
If Leeds were to complete those three deals over the next couple of weeks would that be good enough going into the new Premier League season? The vacant gap in central defence would be filled, we’d have additional strike power up front and a young attacking midfielder whose shown he can deliver north of the border. With Marcelo Bielsa at the helm we are never going to have a large first team squad but we also saw the emergence of Pascal Struijk as cover in defensive midfield and central defence, Ian Poveda on the wing and impressive performances from Jamie Shackleton in central midfield in the final few games of last season. With three key signings and the young players coming through would we have a squad to compete come the 12th September?