Despite transfer warning from Hull, Leeds would be wise to sign this 21-year-old midfield starlet


Why Leeds United should push hard to sign Leonardo da Silva Lopes

According to the Birmingham Live, Leeds United have been issued a stern transfer warning by Hull City boss Grant McCann over reported transfer target Leonardo da Silva Lopes.

The Whites have been linked with the 21-year-old midfielder alongside fellow Premier League newcomers West Brom this summer (h/t Hull Daily Mail). 

However, as per the latest report, the Tigers have made it clear that the Portuguese starlet will only be allowed to depart the KCOM Stadium if their valuation is met. Lopes, though, has made it clear that he wants to leave Hull City following their relegation from the EFL Championship at the end of last season.


Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Leonardo da Silva Lopes joined Peterborough United’s academy aged 14 and rose through the youth ranks at London Road before making his first-team debut for the Posh in League One during the 2014-15 season.

Official Website of the Tigers
Leonardo da Silva Lopes featured 44 times for Hull City in all competitions last season (Getty Images)

The 21-year-old registered close to 100 appearances for Peterborough before earning a move to the Championship with Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2018. However, he struggled to establish himself with the Latics and spent the second half of the 2018-19 campaign on loan at Gillingham in the third-tier.

Lopes was snapped up by Hull City last summer and the versatile midfielder went on to enjoy an impressive breakthrough season in the Championship despite the Tigers’ relegation from the second division. The Portuguese U-20 international made 40 league appearances for McCann’s side, accumulating 2 goals and 3 assists in the process.

Lopes could provide some valuable midfield cover for Leeds

Leeds United have already sent out a strong statement of intent with deals for Rodrigo Moreno and Robin Koch in the summer market following their promotion to the Premier League. 

Despite that, however, the Whites still lack adequate depth in several areas of their squad and Marcelo Bielsa needs to make sure that he has all his bases covered heading into the upcoming top-flight campaign. 

Official Website of the Tigers
Lopes has been linked with moves to newly-promoted PL clubs Leeds United and West Brom (Getty Images)

The West Yorkshire giants seemed to have enough quality in their central midfield ranks over the course of their triumphant campaign in the Championship last term. Mateusz Klich featured as one of the mainstays in the middle alongside Kalvin Phillips, with veteran Pablo Hernandez shouldering the bulk of the goalscoring and creative workload. 

Bielsa showed an inclination to shoehorn Stuart Dallas into central midfield in several games last season to cope with the long-term injury to Adam Forshaw. Youngsters like Jamie Shackleton, Jordan Stevens and Pascal Struijk were also afforded sporadic opportunities to impress.

However, Leeds need more specialist cover in the middle of the park to be competitive enough next season, given the Premier League represents an obvious step up in quality and intensity, thus making squad depth a crucial factor for all clubs.

Report details why Marcelo Bielsa initially stalled new Leeds United contract talks - The Boot Room
Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa (Getty Images)

To put things into perspective, central midfield is one area where a lot of depth is desirable and a talented youngster like Leonardo da Silva Lopes could prove to be an exciting addition to the squad at Elland Road. 

A midfielder by trade, the 21-year-old caught the eye with his versatility to play in central, defensive, and attacking roles in the midfield while occasionally featuring as a full-back on either side of the pitch. Hence, he looks more than capable of providing Bielsa with cover and competition in multiple areas of the pitch. 

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Leonardo da Silva Lopes might not be the finished article just yet but he definitely deserves a shot at the Premier League after impressing in a relegated club in the Championship last season. 

Bielsa is right up there with the best when it comes to nurturing young players, as evident from the growth of Shackleton, Stevens, Gotts, and Leif Davis at Elland Road.

The 21-year-old still has his best years ahead of him, so the Whites could have a real gem on their hands if they manage to strike a deal for him this summer.