Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Leeds United Set To Miss Out In Pursuit Of This PSG Starlet: A Massive Blow For Marcelo Bielsa?

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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.

According to L’Equipe, as cited by Burnley Express, Leeds United are set to miss out in their pursuit of Tanguy Kouassi. The Paris Saint-Germain youngster is tipped to move to RB Leipzig this summer, with the Bundesliga giants appearing confident of securing his services. Kouassi was also courted by Premier League side Newcastle United.

Who is Tanguy Kouassi?

A product of the PSG youth academy, Kouassi is regarded as one of the most talented upcoming youngsters in French football. He had initially earned a promotion to the first-team last summer. Though he is yet to make a breakthrough in the starting lineup, the Frenchman has already made 13 competitive appearances in senior football so far.

A centre-back by trade, Kouassi is a physically astute defender. Standing at 1.87m, he is a towering figure in the backline, with his imposing frame giving him a significant advantage in aerial and physical duels. His clever use of the body makes him a solid defender, although the youngster has struggled in dealing with bulky attackers, at times this season.

However, what makes Kouassi such a highly rated defender is his ability to rotate possession from the back. He has decent composure on the ball and can pick forward passes that helps him ease the transition. There is no wonder that Thomas Tuchel has appeared so willing to give the youngster some first-team opportunities this season.

NUREMBERG, GERMANY – JULY 20: Nianzou Tanguy Kouassi of Paris plays the ball during the pre-season friendly match between 1. FC Nuernberg and Paris Saint-German at Max-Morlock-Stadion on July 20, 2019, in Nuremberg, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Why losing out on Kouassi will be a blow for Leeds

Kouassi could have been an excellent signing for Leeds United for multiple reasons. The Whites are already in danger of losing Ben White, who is set to return to Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer while Gaetano Berardi’s contract expires at the end of the ongoing campaign.

That would leave Marcelo Bielsa with only one viable option in central defence in the shape of captain Liam Cooper. Kouassi, in that regard, might have been an ideal alternative should Leeds fail to secure the services of White permanently this summer.

The PSG starlet, although young, is equipped with all the qualities that could make him a tailor-made fit in the Premier League. His physically astute nature tunes in well with Bielsa’s no-nonsense philosophy while the Frenchman’s ball-playing qualities could have added another dimension to the club’s build-up play, which has appeared too overreliant on the services of Kalvin Phillips.

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