Leeds United should hijack West Brom’s move for Petros Mantalos
The Baggies were keen to secure a deal for the 29-year Greek international in the summer but a move fell through. (h/t Birmingham Mail)
Darren Moore’a side are currently 4th in the Championship standings with 46 points from 26 games, three points adrift of Norwich City for the automatic promotion spot. It is a no-brainer that reigniting interest in Mantalos is a clear statement of intent by the Baggies, with the race for promotion set to go down to the wire in the second half of the season.
A youth product of Greek club Skoda Xanthi, Petros Mantalos played for his boyhood club from 2009 to 2014 before making a switch to giants AEK Athens. He hasn’t looked back since then, accumulating 30 goals and 40 assists from 142 appearances for Athens across all competitions.
Mantalos, who has 22 caps for Greece at the senior international level, is primarily a central attacking midfielder by trade but he has also been used on left in the attacking third. Predominantly a right-footed creative ace, Mantalos is well-known in Greece for his stunning free-kicks and pinpoint deliveries from set-pieces.
Standing at just a shade over 5 ft. 9 inches, Mantalos has the advantage of a low centre-of-gravity which allows his to keep good close control and perfect body balance. He is not lightning quick but he is quite sharp and agile and has a good turn of pace to beat the defenders. The 29-year-old is also known for his movement off the ball in the final third and he has the vision to set up goals for his teammates with inch-perfect through balls.
To put things into perspective, Leeds United can bag a massive coup of they can somehow hijack West Brom’s move for Petros Mantalos. The Peacocks are currently top of the table in the Championship and Marcelo Bielsa’s side have a golden chance of ending their drought of much-awaited promotion to the top flight.
Leeds have had a great campaign so far but they still have plenty to play for in the second half of the season, with Norwich City, Sheffield United and West Brom all within striking distance of securing automatic promotion.
Leeds virtually have all their bases covered heading into the second half of the season but the Peacocks need to sign a replacement for Samuel Saiz, who has departed Elland Road to join La Liga side Getafe. Saiz was the team’s main creative ace in the midfield and his departure has left a huge void in the middle of the park. Jack Harrison is a better player down the right while Chelsea loanee Lewis Baker has had a horrible season so far.
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Someone like Petros Mantalos has all the attributes to be a perfect fit in the No.10 position at Leeds. The 29-year-old has the experience of playing in the Champions League and he can definitely help the Peacocks in their bid for automatic promotion. That said, they should take the first step and open negotiations with the Greek international over a potential move in January.