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Leeds going back in for their £23m-rated summer target would be a handy boost for Bielsa

Jose Campana has been linked with a move to Leeds United
Jose Campana has been linked with a move to Leeds United

Why Leeds United signing Jose Campana would bolster their midfield

Back in October, just before the end of the international summer window, a report from Spanish outlet AS (h/t Leeds Live) had claimed that Leeds United were pursuing a deal for Levante midfielder Jose Campana. However, the Spaniard eventually ended up staying put at his current club after the Whites failed to match the La Liga outfit’s £23million asking price. 

Profile

A youth exponent of Sevilla, Jose Campana made his debut for the club’s reserve side in the third-tier during the 2009-10 campaign before making his first-team breakthrough in 2011-12. The midfielder was sold to Crystal Palace in 2012 after featuring just 24 times for Sevilla in all competitions. 

However, Campana struggled to acclimatise to his new surroundings at the English capital and was loaned out to German outfit Nurnberg after making just 6 appearances for the Eagles.

He then joined Sampdoria in Italy on a permanent deal before spending time on loan at Porto. Campana eventually returned to his homeland on loan with second-tier outfit Alcorcon in 2015 and signed for Levante in the following year.

José Campaña, 'todocampista' by profession - JuniperSports
Jose Campana had been linked with a move to Leeds United in the summer (Getty Images)

Campana guided Levante to a promotion-winning campaign in the Segunda Division and has since been a key player for the club in the La Liga over the past three seasons.

The 27-year-old has amassed an impressive tally of 11 goals and 26 assists in 164 appearances for Levante in all competitions so far. He recently made his senior international debut for Spain in a friendly clash against Portugal. 

Campana would add more depth and quality to Leeds’ midfield

Leeds United spent heavily this past summer to improve Marcelo Bielsa’s squad following their promotion to the Premier League. While club-record signing Rodrigo Moreno and Raphinha came through the door at Elland Road to bolster the club’s attack, Diego Llorente and Robin Koch were also roped in to add more substance and quality to the backline. 

The Whites, though, failed to bring in any reinforcements to upgrade their midfield ranks. And Leeds’ failure to add more depth to that department has already come back to haunt them in the opening rounds of the ongoing campaign.

Levante: José Campaña pide perdón en Twitter por su expulsión | Liga Santander
Campana has made over 100 appearances for Levante in the La Liga (Getty Images)

The injury to Kalvin Phillips has reduced the Whites to bare bones in the defensive midfield area. With Adam Forshaw yet to make a return from his long-term injury, Bielsa has been forced to rely on unproven youngsters like Jamie Shackleton and Pascal Struijk to do a job at the base of the midfield. However, neither player has looked quite ready to make the step up to the top-flight yet. 

Leeds also lack adequate depth in other areas across the midfield, given the absence of quality alternatives to reduce the dependence on Mateusz Klich and Pablo Hernandez. With the latter nearing his twilight at 35, the Whites need to start lining up some younger midfield alternatives heading into the January window.

To put things into perspective, Leeds United should make a renewed attempt to sign Jose Campana from Levante during the mid-season trading period. The midfielder’s recent international debut for Spain is clearly a testament to his massive progress over the past three years.

Having failed to make an impression at Crystal Palace earlier in his career, Campana now looks more than ready for a second crack of the whip in English football.

Campaña, el máximo asistente de LaLiga en 2019 - Golsmedia
Source: Getty Images

Apart from his proficiency in scoring and creating goals for his team, Campana also contributes a lot with his overall work rate. As evident from his heat map in the La Liga last season, the Spaniard covers a lot of ground to help his team both in the offensive and defensive phases of play. 

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Verdict

Jose Campana’s stocks have continued to soar high since the start of the season, with the midfielder recently making his international debut for Spain.

The Whites need to splash the cash if they are to add quality depth to their midfield and Campana certainly ticks a lot of boxes.

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