Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Leeds United Credited With An Interest In Benfica Sensation: A Realistic Target 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 ESPN, Leeds United are among the clubs interested in Florentino Luis. The SL Benfica midfielder, who has emerged as the latest target for Manchester United, has been courted by a host of top clubs across Europe. That list included Leeds United as well as Real Betis and Bayer Leverkusen. Luis hasn’t had a bright campaign and a move away from Benfica could be on the cards this summer.

Florentino Luis’ recent struggles at Benfica

Having impressed during the backend of the 2018/19 campaign, Luis was destined to make a massive impact this season for Benfica. However, as we near the final phase of the campaign, the young midfielder has even struggled to establish himself as a first-team regular for the club.

Luis did start the first four games, but an unfortunate meniscal injury played a key role in stifling his progress. It not only minimised his game-time but also allowed other players like Gabriel and Adel Taarabt to gain a more prominent role in the side. It was followed by the January arrival of Julian Weigl, effectively ending the player’s hopes of redeeming himself.

As a matter of fact, Luis is yet to appear in a single league game since the turn of the year. Overall, he has featured in just seven games, totalling 574 minutes of league football. Hence, a move away from Benfica seems like a logical choice for the defensive midfielder this summer.

Leeds United are among the clubs interested in Florentino Luis - One for the future?
Benfica’s midfielder Florentino Luis (C) challenges Belenenses’ Maroccan defender Zakarya Bergdich (R) during the Portuguese League football match SL Benfica vs Belenenses SAD at Luz stadium in Lisbon on March 11, 2019. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP via Getty Images)

How can he fit in at Leeds United?

Florentino Luis could be a massive coup for Leeds United. The arrival of the Portuguese whizkid could help Marcelo Bielsa appear less overreliant on the services of star midfielder Kalvin Phillips.

Much like the Leeds midfielder, Luis is excellent when it comes to distributing possession and winning the ball in the middle of the park. Also, he can effortlessly make the transition into space and offer more composure into the build-up play – making him an ideal alternative, and perhaps even a replacement for Phillips.

Moreover, Luis’ athleticism, combined with his aggression and physicality tune in well with the Premier League, meaning the midfielder shouldn’t face too much difficulty integrating himself into the Premier League.

Is Florentino Luis a realistic target for Leeds United?

It is fair to point out that some of Europe’s top clubs have courted Luis. In that regard, it’s difficult to assume that he would move to Leeds United next season.

At the same time, however, the player would want to move somewhere where he can secure regular game-time. Bielsa can offer him not only that but also an opportunity to showcase his talents in one of the biggest sporting leagues in the world. Hence, the Whites should remain patient in their pursuit of Luis this summer as it could, in the end, depend on the player’s preferences.

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