Why Michael Olise would be a good long-term signing for Leeds United
According to claims from Football League World (h/t Football.London), Leeds United are among a host of Premier League clubs understood to be monitoring the progress of highly-rated Reading midfielder Michael Olise.
Arsenal and Wolves have also been mentioned as potential suitors in the race to sign the 18-year-old, who enjoyed a promising breakthrough season in the Championship last term. (Football League World h/t Football.London)
Michael Olise started his footballing education in the youth ranks of Chelsea before joining Reading’s academy on a free transfer back in 2015. He initially impressed for the Berkshire outfit’s U-18 side before bursting on to the first-team picture in the Championship during the 2018-19 season.
The 18-year-old made only 4 league appearances in his debut season before going on to establish himself in a more prominent role in the previous campaign, featuring 19 times in the English second-tier.
Olise has started the 2020-21 season in the Championship on a bright note. The French U-18 international bagged an assist in Reading’s 2-0 victory over Derby County on the opening day of the campaign before following it up with his first senior goal as the Royals beat Barnsley 2-0 at the Madejski Stadium.
Leeds could benefit from Olise’s potential
Besides sending out a strong message to their new top-flight rivals with deals for Rodrigo Moreno and Robin Koch, Leeds United have also made it a point to strengthen their youth ranks with the acquisition of some exciting prospects this summer.
The likes of Joe Gelhardt and Coady Drameh came through the door at Elland Road from Wigan Athletic and Fulham respectively while Dutch youth international Crysencio Summerville recently became the latest youngster to join the Whites’ ranks.
To that end, Michael Olise ticks all boxes as yet another fantastic addition to the existing pool of burgeoning young talents in West Yorkshire. Essentially an attacking midfielder by trade, the left-footed Frenchman is also capable of playing out wide on either flank and has caught the eye with his explosive style of football in the second-tier.
Also, the fact that he is regularly rubbing shoulders with the senior pros at just 18 is clearly indicative of some excellent progress and highlights a level of maturity that belies his tender years.
The 18-year-old has only just started to make a name for himself in the Championship, but it would be a smart piece of business for Leeds to complete a deal for him this summer and then loan him back to Reading for the ongoing campaign. He needs regular minutes to further his development, which seems unlikely to happen in the Premier League for the time being.
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Leeds are reaping the rewards of their extensive youth recruitment drive over the past couple of years, with players like Pascal Struijk and Ilan Meslier now a part of Marcelo Bielsa’s first-team plans in the Premier League.
The Argentine gaffer has a proven track record when it comes to nurturing young talents. The Whites could have a gem on their hands if he manages to extract the best out of Michael Olise, who remains an exciting teenager with potential.