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Leeds signing this talented 20-year-old rising Ligue 1 ace would be a shrewd long-term addition

Loic Bade (L) in action for RC Lens in Ligue 1 (Getty Images)

Why Leeds United signing Loic Bade would bolster their backline

According to claims from French outlet Foot Mercato (h/t Yorkshire Evening Post), Leeds United have been credited with an interest in highly-rated defender Loic Bade, who currently plies his trade with RC Lens in Ligue 1. 

The 20-year-old has caught the eye in his breakthrough season in the French top-flight, attracting interest from Liverpool and AC Milan. However, it has been claimed that any transfer would be a more plausible possibility next summer rather than the mid-season trading period this month. (Foot Mercato h/t Yorkshire Evening Post)

Profile

Bade started his footballing education at Boulogne Billancourt and spent time in the youth ranks of Paris FC before joining Le Havre in 2017. After impressing for the club’s reserve side in the fourth-tier, the centre-back showcased his talent and potential in Ligue 2 last season.

The youngster made only 7 league appearances for Le Havre but that was enough to prompt RC Lens to offer him a route to the top-flight this past summer. Bade has grabbed his opportunities with both hands to establish himself as one of the most impressive breakout stars in Ligue 1 this term, starting 16 out of the club’s 18 league fixtures so far.

Lens’ French defender Loic Bade (R) vies for the ball with Dijon’s French midfielder Mama Balde (L) during the French L1 football match between Dijon (DFCO) and Lens (RCL) on November 21, 2020, at the Gaston Gerard Stadium in Dijon, central France. (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images)

Leeds need defensive reinforcements

Leeds United can certainly do with some fresh additions to their backline in January or next summer. The Whites roped in two international calibre centre-backs in the form of Diego Llorente and Robin Koch as a part of their summer recruitment drive after securing promotion to the Premier League. But the Yorkshire giants have still found themselves short of cover at the back during the first half of the campaign. 

Llorente has managed just a solitary appearance in the PL so far due to his struggles with injuries, while Koch has also been out of the mix in recent weeks after picking up a knock.

That has reduced Marcelo Bielsa to bare bones in the centre-back department, forcing the manager to rely on Luke Ayling and Pascal Struijk as makeshift options.

With Gaetano Berardi yet to make a comeback from his long-term injury, Leeds United need at least another centre-back heading into a hectic second half of the campaign. The Whites have conceded 33 goals in 17 games so far and would surely need to improve on that defensive record if they are to secure a top-ten finish.

Lens’ French defender Loic Bade (L) challenges Montpellier’s Algerian forward Andy Delort (C) during the French L1 football match between RC Lens and Montpellier Herault SC at the Bollaert-Delelis Stadium in Lens on December 12, 2020. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP via Getty Images)

Loic Bade is only playing his first season in the French top-flight but he ticks plenty of boxes to come through the door at Elland Road as an excellent long-term addition.

The Frenchman has made an instant impact at RC Lens this season. It looks like he has the potential to make the step up to the Premier League with a bit more polishing. 

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Verdict

Leeds clearly need more options at the back and Loic Bade would represent a real coup with one eye on the future. The defender has been tipped for a bright future after showcasing his potential in Ligue 1, with elite clubs like Liverpool and AC Milan sniffing around.

The Whites, though, should push hard for a deal this month as Bielsa is right up there with the best when it comes to getting the best out of promising young players.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

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

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