Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Leeds United To Face Off With Aston Villa For This French Defender: Can Bielsa Get Him?

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Ayush Chaurasia
Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.

According to the latest reports from Birmingham Mail, Leeds United are interested in signing Brentford’s defensive ace Yoann Barbet. The defender has left Brentford after he rejected a chance to sign a new contract with them. Therefore the French defender is currently a free agent.

Barbet moved to Brentford in 2015, and since then, the 26-year-old has played a crucial part for the Bees in defence. This season the defender made 37 appearances in all competitions for his side. Barbet played under Dean Smith when he was the boss of Brentford, and it is believed that Smith could bring him to Aston Villa in the summer.

Leeds United could have faced Aston Villa in the playoff finals, but they are now set to meet them in the transfer market for this talented French defender who established himself in the last few years in the Championship. The Whites might have fallen short after being in a strong position to qualify to the Premier League, but they should take heart from the season they have had.

Does Bielsa need him?

Marcelo Bielsa needs to be backed big time by the board, and it would be interesting to know whether it’s the board that wants the signing of Barbet or the Argentine manager himself. Centre back is one of the positions where the club has had decent cover. Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson played in that position for the most parts. Gaetano Berardi also did well in that role, and Kalvin Phillips has also shown that he can fill in that position.

From the academy, Aapo Halme was given a chance to fill in the role of a centre back on a few occasions in the first team and he too impressed. Therefore centre back is not one of the areas where the Whites desperately need cover. However, they would do well to add a quality player like Barbet in the summer transfer window.

Barbet is equally adept at playing as a left back as well, and maybe his versatility might be appealing someone like Bielsa. The defender has decent pace, and he can carry the ball out from the back. The 26-year-old showcases an impressive work rate and we feel that he would fit in well as a left back in the Whites’ setup.

Can the Whites sign him?

On a free transfer, Barbet will be a risk-free signing, but Villa should be the favourites to land him in our opinion. The player has already played under Smith before, and they are also one victory away from gaining promotion back to the Premier League. Therefore United’s task of luring him seems to be cut out at the moment.

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