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Why Leeds reviving interest in their £15m-rated target from the Bundesliga would be a real boost

Nicolas Gonzalez
STUTTGART, GERMANY - JUNE 17:Nicolas Gonzalez of VfB Stuttgart celebrates after scoring his team`s fourth goal during the Second Bundesliga match between VfB Stuttgart and SV Sandhausen at Mercedes-Benz Arena on June 17, 2020 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images)

Why Leeds United signing Nicolas Gonzalez would be a real boost

Back in August, a report from The Guardian (h/t Daily Star) had mentioned Leeds United among the potential suitors for VfB Stuttgart forward Nicolas Gonzalez.

Brighton were also understood to be chasing the Argentine international, who was rated at £15million by the German club back then. However, the 22-year-old poured cold water on speculations linking him with a move to England by staying put at Stuttgart before the summer deadline and recently signed a new contract until 2024. 

Profile

A youth exponent of Argentinos Juniors, Nicolas Gonzalez started his professional career in the second division in his homeland during the 2016-17 season. He scored 7 goals in 24 top-flight appearances in the following campaign before completing a move to Europe with German outfit VfB Stuttgart in 2018. 

Nicolas Gonzalez of Stuttgart celebrates after scoring a goal for his side back in June.
Nicolas Gonzalez of Stuttgart celebrates after scoring a goal for his side back in June. (Getty Images)

Gonzalez endured a disappointing debut season in Germany, scoring only twice in 33 appearances across all competitions as Stuttgart were relegated. However, the 22-year-old went on to enjoy a prolific campaign last term, bagging 14 goals in 27 league appearances in the second-tier to propel his club to a promotion-winning campaign. 

The youngster has enjoyed a stunning start to the 2020-21 season in the Bundesliga, registering 3 goals and an assist in 5 appearances so far. Gonzalez represented Argentina’s U-23 side at the 2019 Pan American Games and made his senior international debut later in the year against Ecuador. He has earned 5 caps for La Albiceleste so far, scoring twice in the process.

Gonzalez would be a good long-term signing for Leeds

Leeds United roped in Rodrigo Moreno and Raphinha to bolster Marcelo Bielsa’s attack in the summer following their promotion to the Premier League. That, however, hasn’t been enough to plug all the holes in the squad, with the manager finding it difficult to rotate his options due to a lack of quality alternatives. 

Sport Bilder des Tages Fußball, WM Quali, Argentinien – Paraguay Argentina s Nicolas Gonzalez tries to take a ball against Paraguay during a match for the third day of the South American qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, at the Alberto J Armando La Bombonera stadium, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 12 November 2020. (Getty Images)

Jack Harrison and Helder Costa have so far been the first-choice wide attackers for Bielsa in the Premier League. Raphinha, Rodrigo, utility man Stuart Dallas and youngster Ian Poveda have all filled in on the flanks to varying degrees of success but Leeds surely need more quality cover in that department. 

Hence, Leeds United should definitely make a renewed attempt to sign Nicolas Gonzalez when the transfer window reopens in January. The 22-year-old has shown strong signs of promise in the Bundesliga this season after excelling in the German second-tier last term. That he has already been capped by Argentina at the international level further underlines his impressive progress over the past 12 months. 

Predominantly a left-footed left-winger by trade, Gonzalez has the versatility to switch to a wide attacking role on the right while he can also operate as a centre-forward. Bielsa has made good use of Rodrigo’s versatility by deploying him in several positions across the forward line and Gonzalez fits the bill as a player in a mould similar to the Spaniard. 

STUTTGART, GERMANY – AUGUST 10: Nicolas Gonzalez of VfB Stuttgart poses during the team presentation at Mercedes-Benz Arena on August 10, 2020, in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

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Verdict

Suffice to say, a potential deal for Nicolas Gonzalez in January would offer Leeds some much-needed variety and quality in their attack. The Argentine international still has his best years ahead of him at 22. He would surely benefit hugely from playing under his compatriot Bielsa’s stewardship at Elland Road. 

Gonzalez is unlikely to be available at the previously quoted price of £15million in the summer, considering that he’s only just signed a new long-term contract. However, he’s a player that the Whites should start tracking once again ahead of the January window.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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