Leicester City should beat Leeds United to sign Ibai Gomez
The 29-year-old Spaniard was heavily linked with a move to Championship outfit Leeds in the summer but a move failed to materialise and the Foxes have now set their sights on the winger to bolster their squad in January.
The same source claims that the La Liga club rate their star player at £5 million, which shouldn’t be much of a problem for a club like Leicester City.
Gomez has caught the eye with his consistently impressive displays down the right flank for Alaves over the past few seasons. Having accumulated 7 goals and 6 assists in the La Liga last term, Gomez has hit the ground running this season as well, scoring 3 goals and providing 2 assists from 13 appearances.
After spending time at a few lower division clubs in Spain, Gomez rose to prominence during the 2013-14 season of the La Liga where he scored 8 goals to propel his former club Athletic Bilbao to the UEFA Champions League. He was signed by Alaves back in 2016 and has continued to impress in the Spanish top flight.
Essentially a right-winger by trade, Ibai Gomez does not have the blistering pace to outrun his defensive counterparts but he makes up for it with his sound technique and immaculate crossing. Operating as an out-and-out winger down the right, Gomez uses his exceptional close control and combines it with some decent dribbling to work his way past the defenders.
The 29-year-old is not the best dribbler but his powerful right foot is what makes him a player to stand out for. To be honest, very few wingers have the ability to find the net on a consistent basis with powerful shots from outside the penalty area and Gomez is certainly one of them. In other words, he is a player with an incredible eye for goal.
Furthermore, Gomez is a set-piece specialist and has the ability to find the net with curling efforts from range.
The Spaniard has averaged 2.5 shots and 1.5 key passes per game this term in the La Liga, figures which are comparable to that of any striker in one of the top leagues of Europe. To add to that, he has averaged 1 cross and 2.1 long balls per game, which clearly shows that he is a multifaceted attacking asset to have in the ranks.
To put things into perspective, Ibai Gomez would be a fantastic addition to Leicester’s squad. The Foxes have struggled for consistency this season and sit 10th in the standings with 17 points from 12 games. They have impressed with five wins so far but have succumbed to an equal number of defeats.
Claude Puel’s men have scored 17 goals from their 12 games in the Premier League, which is quite a decent return but they need to achieve a better goalscoring record if they are to challenge for a spot in Europe next season.
Riyad Mahrez’s departure in the summer dealt a huge blow to Leicester’s chances of a top-six finish. Rachid Ghezzal, who was signed from Monaco as a replacement, hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations so far. Ricardo Pereira, who was signed primarily as a right-back, has also been tried out as a right-winger due to his poor defensive form.
Someone like Marcus Albrighton is quite capable of playing on the right but Leicester do not have too many options apart from him to fill in the void should Ghezzal be sidelined with an injury.
Gomez has the experience of playing in the UEFA Europa League and also in the Champions League in his earlier years. That said, he would be an ideal addition to the squad in January as the Spaniard has all the qualities to propel the Foxes to a spot in Europe next season.
This 28-year-old’s mere presence would go a long way in boosting Leeds United’s chances of promotion next season
Leeds United Opinion: Samuel Saiz’s return could have possibly saved the Whites a fortune in the market
The 28-year-old playmaker left Elland Road to join Getafe on loan back in January, professing his desire to leave the West Yorkshire outfit permanently at the end of the season in a bid to ply his trade in his homeland. (h/t Leeds Live)
However, things haven’t quite gone according to the script for Saiz and he is set for a return to Leeds, with Getafe not showing any significant interest in making his stay permanent.
Leeds Live also understands that the playmaker doesn’t have any realistic offers from clubs in the Spanish top-flight and he has been left with no other option than to return to his parent club ahead of the upcoming season.
Saiz played a significant role for Leeds in the first half of this past season, contributing with 4 assists from 19 appearances to ignite hopes of a promotion-winning campaign. However, his time at Getafe was anything but fruitful, with the midfielder just starting twice in the La Liga and making a total of 10 appearances, managing a single goal in the process.
The 28-year-old played a shockingly low 300 minutes of football on his loan spell in the Spanish top-flight and it is no surprise that Getafe are not keen to sign him permanently, particularly after finishing 5th in the La Liga.
Well, Saiz’s desire to earn a permanent move to the La Liga apparently hasn’t come to anything but Leeds, on the contrary, have every reason to be elated with the 28-year-old’s return to England.
The Whites were flying high in the Championship back in January when Saiz departed and they had a chance of securing automatic promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 15 years but Marcelo Bielsa’s side faltered badly over the Easter period and ultimately finished 3rd in the standings.
That was enough to earn them a playoff spot but their hopes ended with a painful 4-2 defeat at the hands of Frank Lampard’s Derby County in the second leg of the semi-finals.
Having missed out on promotion, Leeds would be forced to alter their stance and adopt a different approach in the transfer window. They need to look at bargain deals and players who can offer good value for money, meaning that the arrival of any marquee signing at Elland Road this summer is improbable.
And that is exactly why the return of Samuel Saiz can be such a massive boost to Leeds United, as the Whites look to put all the disappointment behind them and start right from the scratch once again next season.
Saiz’s departure in January exposed the lack of depth in the club’s attacking midfield ranks and Marcelo Bielsa was forced to rotate his players and tinker with his tactics a lot more than he would have liked.
The Argentinian was forced to use the likes of Tyler Roberts and Patrick Bamford in an attacking midfield role and neither of them particularly impressed, as the void left by Saiz proved to be a massive one.
Mateusz Kilch was forced to shoulder a lot more responsibility in the middle of the park, while Adam Forshaw, who is primarily a defensive midfielder, was used in a more advanced role further up the pitch.
Saiz has the vision and the incisive passing ability to rip defences apart and create chances, which was so crucial to Leeds’ success in the earlier stages of this past campaign. He has the ability to work those half-spaces in the final third, while also possessing the ability to be creative between the lines and break the opposition down.
A tireless worker on and off the ball, he adds a certain degree of stability, cohesiveness and cutting-edge to the midfield and his charismatic presence can be a huge asset to the Whites in their surge for promotion next season.
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The Whites have some promising young midfielders in Jamie Shackleton and Jack Clarke, both of whom have impressed playing a bit-part role in the first-team this season. They are likely to play a bigger role next term but the return of Saiz could possibly have saved the club a fortune in the transfer window.
Norwich City must not give up on their £12m pursuit of this Leeds star to make a solid impression in the PL
Norwich City Opinion: Kalvin Phillips would provide cover in multiple areas of the pitch for the Canaries
According to the Daily Mail, newly-promoted club Norwich City look set to do some exciting business in the summer transfer window, with reports claiming that the Canaries are interested in signing Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United.
The Daily Mail understands that Norwich are plotting an audacious £12 million raid on the West Yorkshire giants for Kalvin Phillips, who was one of the standout performers of the season for the Whites.
The same source claims that the Canaries are likely to operate with a tight budget in the summer transfer window, despite securing promotion to the Premier League. However, Daniel Farke is prepared to shell out a substantial fee to bring the highly-rated versatile youngster to Carrow Road.
Phillips made 44 appearances in the Championship this season and chipped in with a goal and 3 assists,as Leeds United finished third and missed out on automatic promotion. The Whites eventually lost out to Derby County on aggregate in the playoff semi-finals and their failure to secure promotion has left them vulnerable to offers for several of their young talents.
The 23-year-old showcased his versatility to play in multiple positions, with manager Marcelo Bielsa rotating him between holding midfield and centre-back roles.
He was arguably one of the most consistent performers for teh Whites over the course of this past season and his good run of form earned him a place in the Championship Team of the Season. It might surprise a few but Phillips was tipped for a call-up to England’s senior team as a result of his fine performances.
To put things into perspective, Norwich City have every reason to look at Kalvin Phillips as a viable option to strengthen their midfield.
Phillips has made a total of 141 appearances for Leeds in all competitions, accumulating 10 goals and 8 assists, and he has shown strong signs of excellence very early in his career, which should convince the Canaries of his ability to make the jump up to the top-flight.
Norwich are not crying out for central midfield reinforcements but Phillips’ versatility to play both holding midfield and centre-back roles should make him a wonderful asset to the club.
A tough-tackling and all-action midfielder noted for his strength, power, work-rate, tenacity and determination, Phillips also has a very good range of passing, which allows him to move the ball around with ease and switch the play from a deep position in the middle of the park.
The likes of Kenny Mclean, Mario Vrancic, Tom Trybull, Alexander Tettey and Moritz Leitner all made a positive impact in the Championship to varying degrees this past season but a robust and combative midfielder like Phillips can add a bit more solidity to the midfield.
The Canaries conceded 57 goals in the Championship and their defence did show signs of crumbling under pressure, which is an issue that Farke needs to sort out.
Also, Norwich are likely to lose the services of veteran centre-back Timm Klose on a free transfer this summer, meaning that they would need to bring in a replacement for the 31-year-old. Phillips has the physicality and aerial ability of a centre-back and the Canaries can look at him as decent enough cover at the heart of the defence.
Plus, Alex Tettey is going to turn 34 next season and he apparently hasn’t got the legs to make an impact in the Premier League, which should make Kalvin Phillips all the more exciting a proposition for the club.
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Suffice to say, Phillips has the versatility to provide cover in more than one area of the pitch and his presence could boost Norwich’s chances of thriving in the top-flight massively. That said, they should not hesitate to splash the cash on the highly-rated Leeds star this summer.
Leeds United would commit a seriously foolish mistake by signing this England U21 star for £20m – Here is why
Leeds United Opinion: Whites would be foolish to fork out £20 million for Jack Harrison
According to The Sun, Leeds United are interested in signing Man City loanee Jack Harrison on a permanent deal ahead of the summer transfer window but the Whites have been left dumbfounded by the Citizens’ asking price for the winger.
The same source claims that Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa would also be open to another loan deal, but with Harrison attracting interest from Premier League clubs, the Yorkshire giants are likely to be blown out of the water.
Leeds would need to shatter their club record fee to sign the winger, who did not produce incredible returns in the Championship this past season by any means. The move, if it materializes, would eclipse the £11 million that the Whites forked out to sign Robbie Fowler from Liverpool back in 2001.
Harrison made 39 appearances for Leeds in the Championship this season as Leeds finished third and narrowly missed out on automatic promotion to the Premier League.
The 22-year-old chipped in with 4 goals and 3 assists, and while his performances weren’t anywhere near the level that the fans at Elland Road would have expected, Harrison managed to establish himself as one of the first names on Bielsa’s team sheet due to lack of competition for places.
Harrison spent time in the academies of Man United and Liverpool as a youngster and then migrated to the United States to pursue his footballing career. The attacking midfielder rose to prominence in the MLS with New York City before Man City brought him back to England from their sister club back in January 2018.
The 22-year-old impressed for the Citizens during the pre-season tours last summer and was shipped out on loan to Elland Road to gain first-team experience and further his development.
Held in high regard by the hierarchy at Man City, Harrison was expected to compete for a first-team role at the Etihad next season based on his development but things haven’t quite gone according to the script for the talented youngster.
Harrison produced some largely underwhelming performances at Elland Road this term and never really managed to hit the ground running. He did, however, tease the fans with glimpses of his brilliance but that should hardly convince the Whites to splash such a massive amount to secure his services permanently.
Leeds’ pursuit of promotion came to a sorry end in the semi-finals of the playoffs against Derby County, as the Whites blew away a 1-goal advantage from the first leg to lose the second leg 4-2.
They were linked with some high-profile players from foreign leagues prior to the summer transfer window, many of those being former players managed by Bielsa, but the Yorkshire giants would be under pressure to alter their stance in the market now that they are set for another season in the Championship.
It is a no-brainer that they need to look at cheaper and more affordable alternatives to Jack Harrison in the summer and making a renewed attempt to sign Bristol City star Callum O’Dowda would probably be a better choice (h/t Leeds Live).
They have been linked with the Irishman for quite some time now and getting him on board for a significantly lower fee than the quoted £20 million for Harrison would be an excellent solution to the club’s lack of depth in the wide areas.
Moreover, they should focus on the development of Jack Clarke, who enjoyed a wonderful breakthrough season this term.
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Leeds need to look at players who can offer good value for money and they should avoid signing Jack Harrison even if they have the financial resources to do so.
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