Good Morning. It's Wednesday 19th January, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Leeds have £15m bid rejected for USA international Brenden Aaronson
As Adam Forshaw’s hamstring tightened after 20 minutes of Sunday’s victory against West Ham at the London Stadium you could sense the worry amongst the Leeds fans. Not another injury! If it wasn’t clear to Victory Orta that we need to strengthen in midfield this transfer window before the Leeds Number 4 hobbled off the pitch it certainly is now. But Orta has been busy according to The Mirror’s David Anderson with bids tabled for two players. One is as yet unidentified but we do know who the first is, USA international Brenden Aaronson.
The Athletic are reporting Leeds have tabled a £15 million bid for the Red Bull Salzburg midfielder, known as the “Medford Messi”. Salzburg have turned down the initial offer, but the Whites remain keen on Aaronson and believe they can prise him away from the Austrian Bundesliga champions. Even if they don’t have a great record of dealing with Red Bull clubs in recent seasons!
The 21-year-old has played all but two of Salzburg’s Austrian Bundesliga games this season and all but 5 minutes of their six UEFA Champions League games. Matthias Jaissle’s side are known for their high intensity and pressing which would hold Aaronson in good stead should be make the move to Bielsa’s Leeds. Aaronsonis an intelligent footballer, who moves into space and searches for openings with his passing. He likes to take the odd shot from outside the box too! For an in depth analysis of his style of play check out All Stats Aren’t We scouting report.
Do you think Aaronson is the type of player we need this January? If you were Red Bull would you deal with Leeds United given the Jean-Kévin Augustin debacle?
Dallas - Leeds United's unsung hero
Since making the move from Brentford six and a half years ago, Stuart Dallas has accumulated 235 appearances, and has netted 25 times for the Whites. When it comes to relying on a player, the Northern Ireland International is pretty high up on the list. During his time at Elland Road, he has successfully filled in at no less than six different positions on the pitch. He makes a difference off the pitch too; he mentors some of the developmental players. A recent comparison between Stuart Dallas and England midfielder Declan Rice shows just how important Dallas's contributions are for Leeds, and why the 30 year old may be Leeds most underrated player.
Koch's form not going unnoticed
Robin Koch's return to first team action has caught the eye of Germany Manager Hansi Flick. The 25yo picked up a pelvic injury during their opening game of the season at Old Trafford, which, after surgery kept the former Freiburg defender sidelined until Christmas. Although still unfit, Bielsa had no option but to throw the German International in at the deep end against Arsenal a week before Christmas, but since then Koch's performances have continued to impress. According to German outlet Sport1...
He [Hansi Flick - German national team boss] has contacted him [Koch] more often by phone in recent months to inquire about the well-being of the Leeds professional. At the DFB [German national team], they appreciate Koch's variability and reliability on the pitch, but also his personality.
The report suggests Koch is being eyed as a possible defensive midfield option. With the emergence of players like Struijk, Cresswell and Hjelde, where does this leave Cooper, Llorente and Koch?