Leeds United: Why Leeds United must take a punt on Michael Folorunsho?
According to a report from Italian outlet Tuttocalciopuglia, Leeds United are in pole position to sign midfielder Michael Folorunsho from Vitrus Francavilla.
A youth product of the Lazio academy, Michael Folorunsho joined third tier Italian club Vitrus Francavilla in the 2017/18 season. He enjoyed a solid individual 2018/19 season in Italy and after scoring seven goals in 31 Serie C games, the 21-year-old has caught the attention of Bari and Leeds United.
But Leeds are winning the race at the moment, with the club’s Italian owner Andrea Radrizzani expected to play a major role in bringing Folorunsho to Elland Road from Italy.
The Whites went so close last season to clinching promotion to the Premier League with a third-placed league finish, before losing out in the play-off semi-finals to Derby County. Marcelo Bielsa has to prepare for another push at promotion to the Premier League next season.
The Leeds boss is in the market for new players and he needs to bring in the right profile of players. Consistency and squad depth are vital when a team is pushing for promotion to the Premier League and that’s what the Whites lacked last season. However, there were some standout performers at Elland Road and one of them was Kalvin Phillips.
Kalvin Phillips impressed with his performances in the Championship and has caught the attention of newly-promoted Aston Villa, who have prioritised signing a defensive midfield after the departures of Glenn Whelan and Mile Jedinak, reports the Telegraph. Bielsa will do everything to keep hold of the academy graduate but the lure to play in the Premier League is tough to decline.
And in that case, if Phillips decides to join Aston Villa this summer, Leeds must replace him with Michael Folorunsho. For starters, Folorunsho is a central midfielder by trade and has a different set of skill-set to that of Phillips. The 21-year-old has had an impressive campaign in the Serie C and was a key part of Virtus Francavilla’s promotion bid, which fell narrowly short in the play-offs.
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With seven goals, Folorunsho has shown that he is able to make goal contributions at vital stages. In terms of the attributes, the 21-year-old is a good passer of the ball and possesses decent dribbling skills to outsmart a defender. The Rome-born midfielder of Nigerian descent is a proper midfield player with industry, creative and eye for goal.
Leeds must have a bigger squad next season that can get over the line for promotion and signing a player like Folorunsho with sky-high potential would be a step in the right direction.