Latest reports from Spain as cited by Birmingham Mail indicates that Alaves winger Ibai Gomez is close to joining his former club Athletic Bilbao for a fee of £2.5m. Leeds United have been interested in him for quite some time as there have been various reports which did the rounds regarding the same in the past two months.
This should definitely come as a massive blow as Gomez would have been a perfect addition at Elland Road. Marcelo Bielsa had previously worked with the player during his managerial stint with Bilbao, and the fact that he is moving away for £2.5m should disappoint the Whites faithful as that’s a deal which they could have pulled off.
A few days back, it was being reported (Mundo Deportivo) that the winger could be available on a cut-price deal this month as the 29-year-old was in the final year of his contract and Alaves were looking to sell him well below his release clause which was set at €10m. The sale of the player is likely to go through, and it’s disappointing that the Whites are nowhere in the picture for his signature.
Even with the previous price tag, we believed the winger could have been a decent addition, and Bielsa recently admitted (Leeds Live) that he might need a winger in January as Pablo Hernandez has been shifted to play in more central areas after the departure of Samuel Saiz.
Leeds United have kept their place on the top of the Championship table but there are some gaping holes in their squad. Injuries have played a massive role, and quite a few players have often played out of position at some point in time this season.
The fact that Gomez had already played under Bielsa would have made him a great fit, and the right winger would have been an upgrade over the likes of Jack Harrison and Ezgjan Alioksi who usually occupy the right wing spot these days.
A winger should definitely be on the agenda of the club this month. Pablo Hernandez is going to be 34 by the time the season ends, and Jack Harrison is here on a season-long loan. Therefore signing a long-term right winger should be considered by the club.
The fact that the Whites are in such an excellent position to move to the Premier League should be used to their advantage as quite a few players might be attracted towards them knowing they could play Premier League football after just six months. Here’s hoping that not signing Gomez doesn’t come back to bite the Whites at the end of the season.