According to the latest reports from the Sun, Leeds United are keeping track of Huddersfield Town winger Rajiv Van La Parra for a possible move in the January transfer window. The same report adds that Middlesbrough are ready to make a bid for the tricky winger who has found it hard to get game time this season for the Terriers.
Van La Parra is currently being valued at £5m, and he is predominantly a left winger. Tony Pulis is said to be keen on the winger to bolster his squad for a promotion push. As for Leeds United, we think he can be a hit or a miss kind of signing.
The winger is a bag of tricks in the box but he often struggles to come up with an end product. As a result, he has made just five appearances in the Premier League this season. The Whites themselves are facing a similar sort of problem at the moment in the left wing spot as Ezgjan Alioksi’s final product has been dismal for the most parts this campaign.
For £5m, we don’t see Van La Parra being a significant upgrade over someone like Alioski. Yes, he might be an excellent addition to the squad and would add competition for places and depth to the roster at Elland Road, but he can be a frustrating signing for the Whites if he doesn’t hit the ground running for that kind of money.
However, maybe playing under someone like Bielsa might bring the best out of him as he has already turned certain dead woods of the squad into essential players. Van La Parra’s numbers in the Premier League aren’t too fancy, but that is understandable as he plays in a team where they do a lot of defending for the most parts of a game. Last season, the 27-year-old was quite regular as he managed 33 appearances in the Premier League but only managed 3 goals and no assists throughout the season.
For £5m we believe there might be better wingers available who would be much younger. Given that Van La Parra is already 27, he is unlikely to have much resale value in some years’ time. His past performance in the Championship isn’t too much to talk about as well. He has represented the likes of Wolves, Brighton and Huddersfield in the English second tier and has made a total of 110 appearances. However, he has only been on the scoresheet five times.
There is every chance that we could be proven wrong as Van La Parra has enough ability to hit the ground running at Elland Road. But there are enough pieces of evidence in the past that he is unlikely to make that turnaround and the Whites should probably let Middlesbrough have this one.