Good Morning. It's Thursday 18th August, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Leeds face competition over Italian International hitman
Italian media outelt Corriere dello Sport are claiming Leeds are locked in battle with Dutch giants Feyenoord over 18 year old forward Wilfried Gnonto. The Zurich hitman is in his final year of his contract, and as such is available at the knock down price of €5million (£4.2million). Gnonto is versatile, can play as a forward, winger or attacking midfielder, and is already a part of Roberto Mancini's Italy squad, winning four caps this year. He may not be the big money signing many of us were looking for, but surely, we all like a bargain, don't we!
A new attacker must remain on the transfer agenda for a Leeds, especially with recent injuries to Patrick Bamford and Joe Gelhardt highlighting the lack of depth up front. Jesse Marsch have said Leeds will have to be clever with recruitment in this area so as not to block the progression of Joe Gelhardt. Could Gnonto be the ideal man to provide cover as a player to develop for the future?
Hay expresses concern about Kristensen
During his latest podcast, Elland Road journalist Phil Hay has admitted his surprise, that Rasmus Kristensen has struggled thus far, since his £10m transfer from RB Salzburg. The 25yo penned a five-year contract, ten weeks ago, but is yet to find his form for the Whites. His impressive physique and hard man demeanour led many comparisons to our no nonsense players of yesteryear, but two games in, the great Dane has yet to stamp his authority! According to Hay...
I think he’s had two difficult games, I can’t disagree with that at all – and it is a surprise to me. I felt and I said a couple of times that signing him for £10m or thereabouts seemed like a no-brainer in the sense that he’d had a good pedigree, he’d had a good reputation at Salzburg; analysis of his game seems to find a lot of strengths in it and cast him as a pretty capable and a good right-back.
But he’s found his positioning a challenge. I think a lot of people were surprised at the Wolves goal, how easily he was brushed off the ball for that, because he has this hardcore demeanour about him, doesn’t he? He looks like what you’d call a kind of classic hardman, he looks like somebody who could easily be a crowd favourite, a bit of a cult hero – definitely got that streak in him.
But it’s been tougher for him to settle than it has for somebody like Tyler Adams, somebody like Marc Roca, Aaronson, others on the pitch. It is, at the moment, a position of weakness for Leeds – both on the right and the left-hand side.
Struijk tops players ratings
Two games in, Pascal Struijk leads the players ratings for 'Whoscored', just ahead of Jack Harrison and Rodrigo. The versatile Dutch defender, who turned 23 last week, has impressed the statisticians for his performances at left back, in the absence of Junior Firpo. He burst onto the scene two years ago, rising up the ranks at pace following injuries to Llorente, Koch and Cooper. Last season, he seemed to lose a lot of confidence (and form) following his red card for the challenge on Liverpool's Harvey Elliott, and dropped down the pecking order at Elland Road.
Some of the ratings may seem a little odd, but they are considered to be the most accurate, respected and well-known performance indicators in the world of football, and are used by media giants, bookmakers and football clubs based on a unique, comprehensive statistical algorithm.
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