Saturday, December 3, 2022

Leeds United Enter Chase To Sign This German Free Agent This Summer: A Wise Move By 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 in talks with 1.FC Nuremberg for Patrick Erras (yes we are as surprised as you as to why Leeds are not talking with the player directly). The holding midfielder has attracted a lot of interest from clubs in the lower tier of English football, with his contract expiring at the end of the campaign. Leeds United are among the clubs chasing his signature, along with QPR, Brentford, Bristol City and Blackburn Rovers.

Who is Patrick Erras?

A product of the Nuremberg youth academy, Erras has been a part of the club’s senior side since 2015. Although he is yet to establish himself as a fully-fledged member of the first-team, the midfielder did play a role in Nuremberg’s promotion to the Bundesliga in 2018. Overall, he has featured in 81 competitive matches for his club, with most of them coming in the second division.

This season, for example, Erras has notched up 17 league appearances, helping Nuremberg fight the relegation scrap. It is, however, fair to point out that he has made only 11 starts.

Therefore, Erras is, by no means, a star player, even in 2.Bundesliga. However, what makes him such an appealing target for these English clubs are his character and style of play.

What can he add to the table?

The 25-year-old can be easily distinguished thanks to his massive 1.96m frame. It makes him one of the tallest midfielders in professional German football, giving him a significant advantage in physical and aerial duels. As a result, Erras is quite effective when it comes to screening the backline.

Leeds United are in talks with 1.FC Nuremberg for Patrick Erras - Can he solve their midfield problems?
NUREMBERG, GERMANY – MAY 11: Patrick Erras of Nuernberg looks dejected following the Bundesliga match between 1. FC Nuernberg and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Max-Morlock-Stadion on May 11, 2019 in Nuremberg, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The German excels at breaking up play in midfield and orchestrating potential counter-attacks. In that sense, he can be compared to Hertha Berlin’s dynamo, Vladimir Darida. But, at the same time, Erras lacks mobility, largely due to his massive frame, as well as any sort of technical quality.

Verdict: Is Erras a good signing for Leeds United?

Erras is undoubtedly not a flashiest of midfielders in football at the moment. However, he can offer the depth Leeds United currently lack in their team.

Especially in the defensive midfield role, Erras can be considered as a back-up for star player Kalvin Phillips. The German’s defence-oriented approach and a more robust style of play should offer more tactical versatility to Marcelo Bielsa. That means the midfielder could be useful in an all-out defensive situation.

Erras’ would perhaps have been a risky option for Leeds United if there was any transfer fee involved. He has an obvious set of weaknesses and has very little experience at the highest level of football. But, with the player being available for free in the summer, the Whites should definitely look to secure his services as they aim to bolster their midfield options next season.

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