Leeds United Opinion: Beating Championship rivals to sign Benjamin Kololli could be the perfect start to the summer for the Whites
According to Daily Star, Leeds United find themselves in a three-way transfer battle in their pursuit of FC Zurich star Benjamin Kololli, with reports claiming that manager Marcelo Bielsa is keen to bolster his attack after missing out on promotion.
The Daily Star understands that Leeds’ Championship rivals Brentford and Sheffield Wednesday are also weighing up moves for the 27-year-old winger, who impressed in the Europa League this term.
Despite failing to secure promotion to the top-flight this season, the hierarchy at Elland Road remains confident that Bielsa is the right man to take the club forward and they are going to back the Argentinian in the transfer window in a bid to plug the holes in the squad. (h/t Daily Star)
Leeds looked set to end their 15-year-long exile from the top-flight but the Whites slipped below the automatic promotion places due to a poor run of form over the Easter period and ultimately fell short in their pursuit of promotion in the playoffs, as Derby County forged a remarkable comeback in the second leg of the semi-finals to set up a final showdown with Aston Villa at Wembley.
Benjamin Kololli is a total stranger to English football but the 27-year-old Kosovan international caught the eye with his scintillating run of form in the Swiss Super League this season.
The left-winger racked up an impressive tally of 10 goals and 6 assists in the league to go along with his heroics in the Europa League, where he contributed with 2 goals and 2 assists in 7 appearances.
The 27-year-old scored a goal and earned plenty of plaudits for his impressive showing in the Round-of-32 defeat at the hands of Napoli earlier in the season.
Kololli doesn’t have an awe-inspiring profile for a player of his age but his red-hot form at Zurich has put him on the radar of the Championship clubs and a move to English football might as well materialize for the Kosovan international this summer.
To put things into perspective, Leeds United need to invest in their wide options ahead of the upcoming campaign and Benjamin Kololli looks like a good option for a reasonable price.
He is not likely to cost the Whites a fortune in the transfer market, and given that the 27-year-old has proven his ability to deliver the goods against top-quality opposition in the Europa League, Leeds should play a gamble and bring him to the Championship.
The lack of a prolific No.9 was one of the talking points of Leeds’s campaign in the Championship this past season, and while a natural finisher should be high on Bielsa’s wishlist for the summer, someone like Benjamin Kololli, who is capable of playing anywhere down that left-hand side of the pitch, would add much-needed depth in a key area.
Leeds are unlikely to sign Jack Harrison permanently after his rather underwhelming performances, with Man City slapping a £20 million price-tag on the winger (h/t Sun). Hence, the Kosovan international certainly fits the bill of a viable alternative.
Barry Douglas missed large chunks of this past season due to an injury, which forced Bielsa to use Ezgjan Alioski at left-back. The Macedonian did well in an unfamiliar role, and should Leeds face a similar situation next season, the presence of Kololli can be a big asset.
The 27-year-old has the versatility to fill in at left-back, while essentially being a left-sided attacking midfielder by trade. A sharp and agile presence down the flanks, Kololli is an extremely hard worker on and off the ball, while also boasting of plenty and flair and trickery on the ball to drive past defenders with ease.
A good reader of the game, he has a keen eye for creating chances with key passes in the final third, whilst also possessing the awareness top track back and defend.
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Hence, it is not difficult to see why the acquisition of Benjamin Kololli could be the perfect start to the summer that Leeds need to put their promotion heartbreak behind them and start afresh once again.