Leeds United Interested In This Canadian Attacking Ace: Can He Solve Bielsa’s Offensive Woes?

MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 19: Cyle Larin of Besiktas Istanbul during a training session ahead the UEFA Campions League match against FC Bayern Muenchen at Allianz Arena on February 19, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Jan Hetfleisch/Bongarts/Getty Images)

According to Fanatik, Cyle Larin is among the players included in Marcelo Bielsa’s shortlist this summer. The Besiktas forward is currently on loan at Zulte Waregem, who do have an option to make the move permanent for just €2.5 million. However, the Belgian side are unlikely to exercise that option, in which case, Leeds are ready to fork out €6 million to secure the services of Larin.

Who is Cyle Larin?

Larin initially moved to Besiktas in January 2018, in search of success in Europe especially after an impressive spell at Orlando City. Indeed, the striker had scored 44 goals in just 89 competitive matches for the MLS outfit before his €1.85 million move to Turkey.

At Besiktas, however, Larin found it challenging to get regular game-time, notably featuring in just 310 minutes of league football during the remainder of the 2018/19 campaign. He was overshadowed by the success of Hamdi Harbaoui. As a result, the Canadian was sent out on loan to Zulte Waregem last summer.

Larin seemed to have found his feet in Belgium, scoring seven goals and registering ten assists in 29 matches in the Jupiler Pro League. His contributions in front of goal were critical behind the club’s mid-table finish in the league this season.

Essevee’s Cyle Larin and Charleroi’s Steeven Willems fight for the ball during a soccer game between SV Zulte Waregem vs Sporting Charleroi, Tuesday 17 December 2019 in Waregem, in the quarter-finals of the ‘Croky Cup’ Belgian cup. (Photo by KURT DESPLENTER/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

What can he add to the table?

Larin is identified as a traditional number nine. Standing at 1.88m, the Canadian has an imposing presence in the final third. His physicality, combined with his aerial prowess make him an ideal target man for any team. Especially when it comes to hold-up play, the striker can make full use of his physicality and keep hold of possession.

Another key feature of Larin’s gameplay is his ability to find himself in scoring situations. But more importantly, the striker can also create space and opportunity for his teammates, which is indicated in his overall attacking statistics, having registered ten assists this season.

Should Leeds United make a move for Larin?

Larin seems like an appealing target for Leeds United. The Canadian is a well-rounded forward, who is quite effective when it comes to creating chances.

However, the club already has one such player in Patrick Bamford. The ex-Chelsea starlet is a hard-working forward, who has built a formidable attacking combination with the likes of Helder Costa and Jack Harrison. Leeds, therefore, need a much more lethal forward, who can add more bite into the offensive department.

Moreover, it is fair to point out that Larin is yet to play in any of Europe’s top five leagues. So whether or not he will be able to succeed in the Premier League also remains a question.

Jack O’Brien

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.