Leeds signing this 22-year-old Benfica starlet would be a solid investment for their backline


Why Branimir Kalaica would be a good investment for Leeds United

According to Daily Mail, Leeds United are keen on signing Benfica defender Branimir Kalaica in the summer.

Having come through the youth ranks of Dinamo in his hometown, Kalaica, 22, joined Benfica’s B side in the summer of 2016. Since then, he has been a regular member of the squad and has impressed with the Portuguese outfit’s B side. However, he has made just one appearance for with the first-team.

The youngster has also come through various age-group levels with Croatia and was impressive in the 3-3 draw against England U21 last summer. His impressive performances have also attracted a lot of interest across Europe. Clubs like Watford and Celtic are also interested in securing his services, as per the report.

Branimir Kalaica has been in sensational form for Benfica B this season (Getty Images)
Branimir Kalaica has been in sensational form for Benfica B this season (Getty Images)

Kalaica could be a future star in the Leeds defence

Leeds’ defence has been brilliant throughout the campaign, conceding just 34 goals so far as they boast of the second-best defensive record in the Championship. Ben White and Liam Cooper have been rock-solid in the heart of the defence. And Gaetano Berardi has also done a decent job whenever called upon.

However, White is on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion and his future at Elland Road still remains uncertain. And Swiss centre-back Berardi has his contract coming to end in the summer. Thus, if both of them leave at the end of the season, Leeds’ numbers at the back would be reduced. Therefore, signing a centre-back would make sense in the summer.

In that regard, signing Kalaica would help the club secure their backline for the future. The Croatian U21 international has been instrumental for his side and has impressed. He has been consistent in the last three seasons and could be a good addition for the Whites if he displays consistency.

Branimir Kalaica (L) in action against Italy U21 (Getty Images)
Branimir Kalaica (L) in action against Italy U21 (Getty Images)

The 22-year-old has a lot of room for development and under the guidance of Bielsa, chances are that he could develop himself into a Premier League material. He would bring healthy competition to Bielsa’s squad.

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With the uncertain futures of White and Berardi, Leeds are in dire need of central defenders. And Kalaica could provide them with much-needed depth. He could also go on to represent them in the long run if he continues with the same good form. Thus, the Whites should lure the former Dinamo Zagreb man to Elland Road at the earliest.