Why Leeds United should return to the market for Andy Rinomhota

Back in December last year, a report from Football Insider (h/t Berkshire Live) had claimed that Leeds United were interested in signing Reading midfielder Andy Rinomhota. However, a move to Elland Road never quite materialised and the youngster continued to enhance his reputation at the Madejski Stadium. 

Profile

Born in Leeds, Andy Rinomhota started his career at AFC Portchester in non-league before joining Reading at the youth level in 2015. He made his senior breakthrough for the Royals in the EFL Cup in 2017-18 before bursting on to the scene in the Championship in the following campaign. 

Rinomhota has featured as a regular starter for Reading over the past couple of seasons, amassing 95 appearances in all competitions. The midfielder has been instrumental in the club’s bright start to the 2020-21 campaign, starting all of the Royals’ 19 league fixtures so far.

Reading midfielder Andy Rinomhota passes the ball. (Getty Images)
Reading midfielder Andy Rinomhota passes the ball. (Getty Images)

Rinomhota looks ready for the Premier League

With the January window knocking on the door, Bielsa should take the opportunity to address squad depth issues in several departments. Leeds roped in some quality players at both ends of the pitch in the summer but their failure to bolster the midfield ranks has cost them. With Kalvin Phillips picking up a few niggles, the Whites have often found themselves reduced to bare bones in the middle.

Bielsa has been forced to call upon the likes of Pascal Struijk and Jamie Shackleton to plug the gap but neither of them has looked particularly comfortable in the top-flight. With Mateusz Klich also proving himself to be a glaring misfit as an alternative to Phillips in the defensive midfield role, Leeds should certainly seek more cover.

Putting things into context, Andy Rinomhota has shown strong signs of promise in the Championship and has been a consistent performer for Reading over the past few seasons. The midfielder ticks several boxes to come through the door as a quality addition to Bielsa’s ranks at Elland Road. 

Andy Rinomhota 2
Andy Rinomhota (Getty Images)

The 22-year-old has been utilised in both defensive and box-to-box roles in the middle of the park over the course of his career in the Championship.

Rinomhota also excels with his work rate at both ends of the pitch, as evident from his heat map, and that is a quality Bielsa values highly in his midfielders. Hence, the Reading starlet would be a quality alternative to both Phillips and Klich.

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Verdict

Andy Rinomhota definitely deserves a shot at proving his credentials in the top-flight after showing impressive progress at Reading in recent years.

The midfielder still has his best years ahead of him at 22 and Leeds United could potentially have a gem on their hands if he goes on to fulfil his promise. With his contract set to expire in 2022, the Whites should fancy their chances of nabbing him at a decent price in January.

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