According to the latest reports from Daily Star, Leeds United are eyeing a move for Aston Villa’s defender James Chester as a possible replacement for Pontus Jansson. Villa have signed as many as four centre backs this summer ever since their promotion to the Premier League and someone like Chester is likely to fall behind in the pecking order.
Chester had missed a good chunk of the last season because of a knee injury and on-loan signings like Axel Tuanzebe and Tyrone Mings did well in his absence. Dean Smith did indicate that he rates Chester highly and he wants the defender to compete for places with the new signings.
Smith on Chester
Smith recently said, ”The four of them are great options for us to have. But we also know what a good player James is, and he has shown it in the Premier League. Ideally, I would like to see him challenging for a place when we go to Tottenham on the first day of the season next month.”
It is believed that Leeds United are valuing Chester at £7.5m and we think that’s a reasonable valuation for a 30-year-old defender. It remains to be seen whether Villa thinks about cashing in on him with all the new signings they have made.
Why Leeds United are right in targeting someone like Chester?
The Whites recently brought in Ben White from Brighton on loan, but the English defender is still inexperienced. Relying too much on him would be a bad idea for a team pushing for a Premier League move. The club currently has just two proven centre back options in the form of Gaetano Berardi and Liam Cooper. Therefore Bielsa is right in considering a move for a tested and experienced centre back to replace Jansson instead of signing someone with future potential.
The 30-year-old has the experience of playing over 200 games in the Championship and 60 games in the Premier League as well. There is no doubt to us that he will be a quality addition to the Leeds squad. Chester has impressive overall defensive attributes, and he should suit Bielsa well.
Concern for Leeds United
However, his injury in the previous season might be a bit of a concern for the Whites. The centre back has been away from competitive football for quite some time now, and it might be a bit risky to sign him given Bielsa’s strict training regime. The club wouldn’t want to have another Izzy Brown kind of situation developing this season. Therefore if United are satisfied that Chester can start playing games for the White straightaway then only they should go for him.
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