Good Morning. It's Monday 21st November, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Orta secret talks in Singapore revealed
Rumours of JJesús Vázquez joining the Whites in January are heating up, after it was revealed that Victor Orta recently held secret talks with his Valencia counterparts in Singapore, regarding the 19 year old left back. It is believed that he has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave in the New Year, ending his 14-year association with the La Liga Club.
Vázquez s a regular in the Spain U19 squad, but is still pretty raw. He has made four first team appearances for Gennaro Gattuso's side this season (two as substitute), amassing 148 minutes of game time; but with a 'Whoscored' rating of just 6.15, he may have to wait awhile for his Premier League bow. According to a report from Spanish newspaper AS, the youngsters next step has been discussed, with Premier League football now looking likely.
Could Leeds ditch Kristensen for Scally
Earlier this month, it was disclosed that scouts from Elland Road were in attendance to watch Borussia Monchengladbach take on Dortmund; with many assuming Raphael Guerreiro was the target, but it seems there may have been an additional reason. USA International defender Joe Scally is starting to make a real impression at Monchengladbach.
The versaitile 19 year old right back has started all 15 games for Daniel Farke's side this season, and is widely considered to be one of Europe's top young talents, attracting the attention of both Manchester Utd and Spurs. It seems a little odd that Leeds would want a fourth first team right back in their squad, unless either Kristensen or Scally can play in central defence. With a £20m price-tag, I can't see him playing for the U21's. Scally has the same agent as Adam Forshaw, Cry Summerville, Sam Greenwood, Luis Sinisterra and Brendan Arronsen.
£10m for Drameh
Leeds blogger and reporter Conor McGilligan believes Cody Drameh's days are numbered at Elland Road, and a £10m offer may tempt the Leeds board to sell him. Whilst I can't speak for Radrizzani, I can envisage him having a taxi on standby with his full blessing.
I think from my perspective, Leeds are going to let Cody Drameh go. He wasn’t favoured under Marcelo Bielsa. I think it’s clear that he’s not favoured either on the Jesse Marsch, and I think you’ve got these clubs who are looking at him at the minute – and maybe are willing to put in 10 million quid, I don’t know, or Cody Drameh – I think that is something Leeds are going to exercise. Because if he’s third in the line for two coaches then they’re clearly not fans of him.
Leeds may wait until next Summer to bring forward in
With nine goals for 13 games, Rodrigo has undeniably been the saviour of Elland Road this season thus far. The 31yo has hit a rich vein of form, which undeniably has kept Jesse Marsch in a job, and the fractious relationship between the Elland Road faithful and the Leeds board intact. A lack of signings last January almost cost us our top flight status, but has Radrizzani learnt by his mistakes? Recent articles indicate that because of Rodrigo's form, Leeds may hold off until the Summer to bring a centre forward to the club.
Rodrigo's nine goals are a positive, if a little surprising, aspect to Leeds' 2022/23 campaign but the Spaniard is prone to lengthy periods without finding the net. This is perhaps best exemplified by the 31-year-old's Expected Goals (xG) tally this season, which suggests his total for 2022/23 should be five, rather than nine, based on the quality of chances he has had, according to football data experts Opta.
Of course, there are two sides to every coin and Rodrigo's overperformance - the third highest in the division - could be a reflection of his elite finishing. After all, he has scored nine from just 13 shots on target, and the only two players with a larger statistical overperformance are Erling Haaland and James Maddison, whose quality in the final third is undeniable.