According to the latest reports from Spanish media outlet Marca, Leeds United have maintained an interest in Athletic Bilbao’s midfielder Ander Iturraspe. This is not the first time that Iturraspe’s name has been linked with a move to Elland Road as around two weeks back, similar reports had emerged.
The midfielder has captained his side on several occasions, but the 30-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at the Spanish club. The player is also struggling for game time. The Spanish midfielder had played under current Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa when he was at the helm of the club from 2011-2013.
The 30-year-old came up from Bilbao’s academy and has played the majority of his football with them. However, it is clear that he is surplus to requirements now as the two times Spanish international has made just four appearances in all competitions this season. Currently, the defensive midfielder is down with a foot injury, and that too hasn’t helped his cause either.
The midfielder is currently in the final few months of his contract. Given the fact that he hasn’t been involved much in first-team football this season, it is highly unlikely that he would be offered a new contract at the club. Therefore the Whites have a chance to sign this experienced midfielder for free.
Previous reports from AS mentioned that Bielsa had tried to land Iturraspe twice before, but nothing materialised at that time. It seems like Bielsa likes the player and he would be happy with what he would bring to the table even though the Spaniard hasn’t played much football this season.
We feel that Iturraspe will be used more as a squad player and he is being looked as someone who can add depth to the squad. Currently, the defensive midfield position is occupied by Kalvin Phillips and the Englishman has done exceedingly well in that position.
Apart from that, Bielsa can only call upon the services of Adam Forshaw who can fill in that role. Forshaw also doubles up as a backup for central midfield position so one can understand why the Whites are keen to add a midfielder to their repertoire.
Iturraspe is not going to be a marquee signing but in a long season, squad depth is a necessity, and he is a player with whom Bielsa has worked previously. So the gaffer would know what he would get from him, and the fact that he is soon going to be a free agent makes him a no-risk signing for the West Yorkshire outfit.
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