Why Todd Cantwell would be a good signing for Leeds United
According to claims from Football Insider (h/t Leeds Live), Leeds United are eyeing up a swoop for Norwich City star Todd Cantwell, who was among the best young breakout stars in the Premier League last season.
As per the report, Marcelo Bielsa wants to bring in a new attacking midfielder and a No.8 before the closure of the international summer window. The Whites are understood to have monitored the 22-year-old closely over the past few months and are now getting ready to launch an official bid for the Canaries graduate.
Born in Dereham, Todd Cantwell joined Norwich’s youth system at the U-10 level and rose through several age-group ranks at Carrow Road before making his senior professional debut against Chelsea in an FA Cup tie back in January 2018.
The highly-rated youngster was subsequently loaned out to Fortuna Sittard for the remainder of the 2017-18 campaign. And, Cantwell caught the eye with a string of impressive displays in the Dutch second-tier.
Cantwell went on to play a bit-part role for the Canaries during the 2018-19 season in the Championship, scoring once in 24 appearances, as Daniel Farke’s side secured promotion to the Premier League as the outright winners of the second division. The 22-year-old, though, established himself as a key player for Norwich last season following their promotion to the top-flight.
The England U-21 international started 30 times in the PL among 40 appearances across all competitions last term and contributed with 7 goals and 2 assists. Although that wasn’t enough to save the Canaries from relegation.
Cantwell could be a younger alternative to Hernandez
The Whites currently have Jack Harrison and Helder Costa as their first-choice wide attacking options but they lack enough depth in that department. Stuart Dallas and Ezgjan Alioski are essentially wingers by trade but Bielsa has utilised them at left-back.
Furthermore, Leeds also need to bring in a new attacking midfielder to reduce the dependence on Pablo Hernandez, who is nearing his twilight at 35. The Spaniard’s advancing years, coupled with his injury issues early in the season, mean that he might not be able to play week in, week out, in Bielsa’s high-intensity system.
Tyler Roberts and Rodrigo Moreno have been called upon by Bielsa to slot into the No.10 role but the former lacks experience while it goes without saying that the latter’s qualities are better utilised in front of goal.
To that end, Leeds United completing a raid on Norwich City for Todd Cantwell would make perfect sense for a number of reasons. The 22-year-old caught the eye with his versatility to play out wide on either flank and through the centre as an attacking midfielder over the course of Norwich’s disastrous campaign in the PL last season.
Hence, Cantwell looks more than capable of ensuring healthy competition for places out wide at Elland Road by keeping Harrison and Costa on their toes. Plus, his ability to slot into a central attacking role should offer Bielsa with a younger alternative to the aging legs of Hernandez in the No.10 position.
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It is clear from the above discussion that someone like Todd Cantwell would sort out squad depth issues for Leeds United in multiple areas across the forward line with just a single roll of the dice in the transfer market.
The 22-year-old still has his best years ahead of him while he also ticks the box as a quality young player with PL experience under his belt. Having said that, Leeds completing a deal for him would serve them well, not only for the present but also for several years moving forward.