Leeds sealing £3m deal for 26-year-old Argentine ace would be a good bargain by Bielsa

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Why Leeds United should move for Jonathan Silva this summer

According to claims from Spanish outlet AS, as relayed by Leeds Live, Leeds United have been credited with an interest in Leganes left-back Jonathan Silva. 

As per the source, the Whites’ interest in signing the player has been confirmed by his agent and it is believed that a potential switch to Elland Road could cost Marcelo Bielsa’s side a fee of around £3million.

Leganes’ relegation from the La Liga has cast doubts on the future of the 2-cap Argentine international, who is keen to continue his career at the highest level after impressing in Spain. (AS h/t Leeds Live)

Marcelo Bielsa (Getty Images)
Marcelo Bielsa (Getty Images)

Profile

Born in La Plata, Argentina, Jonathan Silva started his professional career at Estudiantes before earning a move to Europe with Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon back in 2014. He struggled to nail down a regular starting role in Portugal but garnered some valuable Champions League and Europa League experience under his belt.

Silva also spent time on loan at AS Roma in the Italian Serie A before initially joining Leganes on a temporary deal in 2018. An impressive tally of 3 goals and 6 assists in 30 La Liga appearances in his debut campaign paved the way for a permanent move to the Spanish outfit.

The 26-year-old scored once and assisted twice in 33 league outings for Leganes this past season, featuring mainly as a left-back while also showcasing the versatility to fill in as a central defender and as a left-winger.

El Leganés exercises the option of buying and signing Jonathan Silva
Silva could depart Leganes following their relegation from the La Liga (Getty Images)

Why he could be a good bargain for Leeds

Truth be told, Leeds United aren’t really crying out for reinforcements at left-back following their promotion to the Premier League. The tactical genius that he is, Bielsa showed his quality as a manager to shoehorn wingers like Stuart Dallas and Ezgjan Alioski as left-backs or wing-backs, with both players delivering the goods in the Championship last season.

The Argentine gaffer though, didn’t show a lot of faith in Barry Douglas, who is supposedly the only specialist left-back in Leeds’ ranks right now. Youngster Leif Davis didn’t start a single league game for the Whites despite being a player with massive potential.

However, relying on makeshift options at left-back department might not be a wise idea for Leeds next season, especially considering the difference in quality between the Premier League and the Championship. 

Barry Douglas (Getty Images)
Barry Douglas is out of favour under Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds (Getty Images)

There isn’t a whole lot of evidence to suggest that Silva could be a genuine upgrade on Leeds’ current left-back options. However, taking into account his status as an Argentine international and his European experience, not to mention his exploits in the La Liga, there is a greater likelihood that the 26-year-old is in a better position to cope with the demands of playing in the Premier League.

Add to that his £3m price tag, which is certainly no better than a drop in the ocean for any Premier League club even in the post-pandemic market, and it’s easy to see that Jonathan Silva could be a welcome bargain addition to Bielsa’s backline.

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Verdict

As evident from the struggles of Fulham in the 2018-19 PL season and Norwich City in the top-flight last season, it’s important for all promoted clubs to have enough depth and quality in their defensive ranks. Silva still has his best years ahead of him at 26 and Bielsa’s union with his compatriot at Elland Road could well be a step in the right direction for the Whites.