Could Michaël Cuisance be the heir to Pablo Hernandez’s throne?

29 Sep 2020 09:41 pm, by YorkshireSquare

So far so good for this transfer as far as Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani are concerned. The early priorities were replacing Ben White and providing some more firepower up front. Robin Koch and Diego Llorente plug the gap at the back and provide additional strength in depth, whilst the record-breaking signing of Rodrigo Moreno provides a bit of competition up front. Spanish international level competition no less! Plenty of investment at younger levels too; Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood and Cody Drameh all brought in to strengthen the U23s for not insubstantial fees. But the final piece in the puzzle has always seemed like that creative midfield position, a Number 10, the successor to Pablo’s throne.

Udinese's Rodrigo De Paul had seemed like the likely candidate, a player I confess to not having heard of but absolutely wanting after pouring over YouTube videos. He seemed keen on the move too, liking Tweets linking him to a move to Leeds. But the €35 million price tag always seemed to be a stretch too far and with Radrizzani not willing to stretch the budget and the Pozzo family not willing to back down it became less and less likely the deal would be done. Ryan Kent, a player Bielsa had been keen on last summer, was linked again but after an initial bid Leeds never went back. Their heads turned by bigger and better possibilities this transfer window.

With De Paul out of the picture Orta has moved quickly for 21-year-old French playmaker Michaël Cuisance, stepping up negotiations last week. As with most of Leeds United’s business this summer, a rumour which only emerged a couple of days ago looks likely to come to fruition quickly as Leeds are set to secure the midfielders services from Bayern Munich for a fee in the region of £20 million. Not a bad profit for the Champions League winners who will make £10 on the deal, Cuisance having played only 11 times for the club since his transfer from Borussia Mönchengladbach last summer.

Cuisance moved to Gladbach from Nancy in the summer of 2017 and was voted the club's 'Player of the Season' in his first professional season at Gladbach, playing 24 Bundesliga games. Chances have been limited at Bayern Munich however, not surprising with the likes of Javi Martínez, Leon Goretzka and Thiago ahead of him. But Cuisance is at now at a time in his career when he needs games and he has told the Bayern board he wants to play. With no assurances from Munich a move to Leeds where he will get plenty of minutes and be able to continue his development under Marcelo Bielsa seems like a good option for all parties.

Hampered by injuries towards the start of last season, his best football for Bayern undoubtedly came towards the end of last season when he got the change in the attacking midfield role. His first full 90 minutes in the league coming in the final game of the season against Wolfsburg when he got one assist and one goal. The Strasbourg born youngster has represented France throughout the youth levels and is tipped as one of the bright young things in French football. Bayern clearly thing he could develop into a great player with a buy back clause, rumoured to be around £60 million, to be written into the deal.

Strong in possession, great technique, creative and with a “wand of a left foot” could Cuisance be their heir to Pablo Hernandez’s throne? What is for sure is that if this deal comes off Marcelo Bielsa will have a good selection dilemma. Mateusz Klich currently looks undropable but with Roberts, Hernandez, Rodrigo and Cuisance available to him Marcelo Bielsa would have a wealth of options available to him.

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mothbanquet wrote on 30 Sep 2020 07:37 am

This lad looks to be custom built for Bielsaball. Can tackle well and muscle out on the defence while he passes, plays out of the press and finishes nicely on the attack.

It's important to remember that when we talk about Pablo's heir that doesn't necessarily mean an exact like for like - we need the creativity and goal threat but there's more to Bielsa's game than that and Cuisance looks like he'll add some proper steel to those attacking qualities.

We should crowdfund a proper golden crown and throne for Pablo's retirement present though.

Richard wrote on 30 Sep 2020 07:05 am

As long as he sorts out his “apparent” attitude problem this could be a great signing. We know what happens when Bielsa doesn’t like a player’s attitude. By all accounts he is a defensive midfield player so although he might occupy Pablos position I can’t see him being a replacement, possibly a change of direction from Bielsa