Why Leeds United signing Fredrik Bjorkan would sort out left-back issues
According to claims from Italian outlet La Repubblica (h/t Leeds Live), Leeds United are among a host of clubs across Europe chasing highly-rated Norwegian left-back Fredrik Andre Bjorkan in the January window.
The 22-year-old, who currently plies his trade with Bodo/Glimt in the Eliteserien, the top-level of football in Norway, has been lined up by Serie A outfit Sampdoria as a potential back-up option this month. Championship pace-setters Norwich City have also been credited with an interest in the youngster. (La Repubblica h/t Leeds Live)
Bjorkan rose through the youth ranks of hometown club Bodo/Glimt before making his competitive breakthrough in the Eliteserien during the 2016 season. He established himself as a regular fixture in the 2019 season, where he managed impressive returns of 3 goals and 4 assists in 29 appearances.
The left-back once again caught the eye with a goal and 4 assists in 30 appearances last term as Bodo/Glimt bagged the domestic title.
The Norwegian U-21 international has been together with the country’s latest generation of young talents that include the likes of Erling Haaland, Jens Petter Hauge, Kristoffer Ajer, Sander Berge, Martin Odegaard and several others. Bjorkan is yet to make his senior international debut.
Leeds need a left-back
Leeds’ pursuit of a new left-back makes complete sense. The Whites have spent the entire first half of the campaign without a specialist option in that department. Marcelo Bielsa has been happy to rely on makeshift duo Ezgjan Alioski and Stuart Dallas to fill in at either full-back position in the Premier League so far.
However, neither of them has looked particularly up to the task in the top-flight, having excelled in the club’s promotion-winning campaign in the Championship last term.
While Dallas and Alioski have offered quite a lot in terms of attack, they have looked very susceptible defensively. Alioski’s defensive credentials have come under serious scrutiny following shocking displays in recent defeats against Tottenham and Crawley Town.
Leeds should definitely seek reinforcements in the left-back department before the January deadline. The Whites have already conceded 33 goals in 17 PL fixtures so far. They will surely need to improve on those numbers if they are to secure a respectable finish for the season.
Having said that, it is a no-brainer that Leeds United need a specialist left-back to go toe-to-toe with their Premier League rivals. Putting things into context, a potential deal for Fredrik Bjorkan would represent a smart coup for the West Yorkshire giants.
The Norwegian starlet has proven his worth as an exciting young attacking left-back in his homeland and looks to have the potential to thrive in more competitive surroundings.
Fredrik Bjorkan isn’t quite the finished article at 22 but his early potential certainly points to a bright future. With fixtures set to come thick and fast during a hectic second half of the campaign, the Norwegian’s inclusion would offer Bielsa a much-needed defensive boost.
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There are no guarantees that he would be able to make an immediate impact in the Premier League. But with his best years still ahead of him, Bjorkan would be well worth a punt for the Whites.