Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Leeds United Battling Crystal Palace And Wolves For This Reading Starlet: A Bargain Deal For 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 Daily Mail, Leeds United are battling Crystal Palace in pursuit of Danny Loader. The Reading forward faces an uncertain future at the club and could even leave for free in the summer. His current contract expires at the end of the ongoing season, with the Championship outfit unable to offer a new deal due to the financial crisis inflicted by the Coronavirus.

As a result, both Leeds United and Palace have already expressed interest in signing Loader. However, they could face stiff competition from Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are likely to be in the driver’s seat in the pursuit of the Reading striker this summer.

Danny Loader: A star in the making?

Loader is yet to make his breakthrough in senior football. He is a product of the Reading youth academy, whose impressive performances in the youth leagues helped him earn a promotion to the senior side at the start of last year. He has since featured in 35 competitive matches for the Championship outfit.

Loader did feature in 21 league matches last season. But, a majority of them came from the bench, and after scoring only one goal, he has rarely been utilised by Mark Bowen this season. In fact, the 19-year-old has made only one start in the league so far, mustering only 107 minutes of football.

Leeds United are battling Crystal Palace in pursuit of Danny Loader - He has found it difficult to get regular minutes this season.
BLACKPOOL, ENGLAND – JANUARY 14: Danny Loader of Reading reacts during the FA Cup Third Round Replay match between Blackpool and Reading at Bloomfield Road on January 14, 2020, in Blackpool, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Indeed, the youngster has largely trailed behind George Puscas and Yakou Meite in the pecking order. Hence, a move away from Reading does make sense.

Is Loader a viable target for Leeds United?

Leeds United are among the clubs that are in desperate need of offensive reinforcements in the summer. However, Loader shouldn’t exactly be a transfer priority for the Whites, given the player’s lack of experience at the highest level of football.

As mentioned earlier, the Reading forward has lacked the gametime necessary to make an impact in senior football. As for Leeds, they require a proven goalscoring forward, who can add more bite to the attack and complement the work of Patrick Bamford. Loader, in that regard, doesn’t fit the bill.

But at the same time, the 19-year-old has a lot of potential and could make waves in top-flight football if given the opportunity. And with that in mind, it might not necessarily be a bad idea for Leeds to secure his services this summer. The fact that Loader could be available for free makes him a cost-effective option in Marcelo Bielsa’s bid to bolster his offensive armoury next season.

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