Reports from Spanish media AS as cited by Birmingham Live, suggests that Leeds United could secure the services of Athletic Bilbao’s midfielder Ander Iturraspe. The 30-year-old had previously worked with Marcelo Bielsa when he was at the helm of the Spanish club from 2011-2013.
Iturraspe is also a two times Spanish international and is a defensive midfielder by trade. However, he is well adept in playing as a central midfielder as well. The midfielder has managed just four appearances for his side this season and is currently out of favour. Iturraspe is also out with a foot injury, so that too hasn’t helped his cause in getting him regular minutes.
The experienced midfielder joined Bilbao when he was just 10 and has come up from their academy. Leeds United are not required to spend a penny for the midfielder as he is currently in the final few months of his contract, and is going to be available on a free transfer in the summer.
The report adds that United are looking to land the midfielder for the third time so maybe Bielsa had tried to lure him in the summer of 2018 and the winter transfer period as well. The fact that the Argentine manager has worked with him previously is perfect for the Whites as Bielsa would be well aware of the player’s strength and weaknesses.
Squad depth has been one of the significant issues for the Whites this season, and the manager often had to adapt by using different players in various positions. That formula might work in the Championship, but if the club wants to move to the Premier League and survive the vigours of the English top flight, then they do need to add depth in midfield.
The likes of Kalvin Phillips and Mateusz Klich have played in almost all the games for the Whites, and apart from them, Bielsa has Adam Forshaw as a backup option. Iturraspe will bring the much-needed depth in the squad. His immense experience of playing in the Spanish top flight will also come in handy. The 30-year-old has played over 300 games in the La Liga.
A signing like this might not get the fans out of their seats, but in a long season, a squad player like him is going to be a necessity. Also, on a free transfer, this would be a decent signing for the Whites. Hopefully, from the club’s point of view, the midfielder can soon get used to the pace of English football as he hasn’t had much game time in La Liga in the past year.
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