Why Leeds United would be wise to play a gamble on Lyanco
The 23-year-old, who currently plies his trade with Torino in the Serie A, has also attracted interest from Bologna, Lille, and Sporting Lisbon. (O Jogo h/t Leeds Live)
Born in Vitoria, Brazil, Lyanco spent his youth career at Botafogo and Sao Paulo before making his senior professional debut with the latter back in January 2015.
The 23-year-old earned a move to Europe with Italian club Torino back in the summer of 2017 but he was limited to just 6 appearances in all competitions during his debut season. Lyanco joined fellow Serie A outfit Bologna on loan in January 2019 after continuing to struggle for regular minutes at Torino.
A fruitful loan spell at Bologna, where he featured as a regular starter, paved the way for a more prominent first-team role at Torino last season. Lyanco made 17 league appearances for Torino in the previous campaign, with 15 of them coming as starts.
Leeds’ current defensive scenario
Leeds United clinched promotion to the Premier League as the outright winners of the 2019-20 EFL Championship, thus ending their 16-year long absence from the English top-flight.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side conceded only 35 goals throughout their triumphant campaign in the second tier this season, which was the best defensive record in the entire division. However, the Premier League represents a massive step up and that’s a key reason why the Whites will need to beef up their backline heading into the upcoming campaign.
Ben White, who spent the 2019-20 campaign on loan at Elland Road from Brighton, was an absolute rock at the heart of the defence for the West Yorkshire giants alongside veteran Liam Cooper.
Leeds are in negotiations to sign White on a permanent deal this summer but with several other clubs including Liverpool rumoured to hold an interest in the youngster, Bielsa might as well keep his options open in the market.
Gaetano Berardi saw his contract expire following the end of Leeds’ delayed Championship campaign.
Why Lyanco could be a good addition
Suffice to say, Leeds desperately need to bring in some new centre-backs this summer. The Brazil U-23 international has struggled to establish himself as an undisputed starter at Torino but he’s got a fair bit of Serie A experience under his belt.
Add to that his towering 6ft 2in frame, and the Brazilian could well be a surprise package in the Premier League next season if Leeds manage to land him.
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Still only 23, Lyanco has lots of time on his side to make significant improvements to his game and acclimatise to the demands of playing in the Premier League. The defender has shown glimpses of his potential in Italy and Bielsa is right up there with the very best when it comes to getting the best out of his players.
Having said that, Leeds United completing a £9m move for Lyanco could well be a risk worth taking.