Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Noel Whelan Backs Leeds United To Sign Argentine International: Can He Solve Bielsa’s Problems?

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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.

During an interview with Football Insider, Noel Whelan has backed Leeds United to sign Adolfo Gaich. He believes that the San Lorenzo striker could be a massive coup for Marcelo Bielsa’s side next season, with the player currently having a £12 million release clause.

“I would think, up front. If we can get this one, it’s a good coup.”, Whelan told Football Insider, responding to questions regarding Gaich’s potential transfer to Leeds United.

Adolfo Gaich: Player profile

A product of the San Lorenzo youth academy, Gaich is currently regarded as one of the most talented players in the Argentine league. After making his breakthrough in professional football last season, he has become a key component of the San Lorenzo attack this term, scoring five goals in 12 matches.

A centre-forward by trade, Gaich has impressed the onlookers with his all-round gameplay. Especially in the physical aspect of the game, the youngster has demonstrated his ability to hold the ball up and create layovers in the final third. He is particularly helped by the 1.90m frame that also gives him a significant advantage in the air.

Aside from that, Gaich has also impressed in front of goal. He is equipped with excellent finishing, which is combined with his physical prowess. Also, what he lacks in pace, he makes up for it with his work-rate and understanding of the game – making him a unique component in Argentina’s cesspool of talented attackers.

Noel Whelan has backed Leeds United to sign Adolfo Gaich - A rising star.
Argentina’s Adolfo Gaich celebrates after scoring against Venezuela during their South American U-20 football match at El Teniente stadium in Rancagua, Chile on February 4, 2019. (Photo by CLAUDIO REYES / AFP via Getty Images)

Can Gaich solve Leeds United’s attacking problems?

From a tactical perspective, Gaich is undoubtedly an appealing target for Bielsa. The 21-year-old can offer the physical presence that the current crop of Leeds attackers clearly lack. Also, he is a much more efficient goalscorer when compared to someone like Patrick Bamford, and the two can also create an excellent partnership, given their tactical awareness.

At the same time, however, Gaich will be no short of a gamble as far as Leeds United are concerned. The Argentine has no experience in European football, and the fact that he has only played in 27 competitive matches for San Lorenzo raises doubts as to whether or not he’d manage to replicate his performances in the Premier League.

Therefore, Bielsa should instead use that £12 million to try and make Jean-Kevin Augustin’s move from RB Leipzig permanent. The Frenchman is a proven attacker at the highest level of football and should add more bite into the Leeds attack next season, despite a rusty start at Elland Road.

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