Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Leeds United Are Eyeing A Move For This Midfield Ace: Does It Make Sense 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 The Sun, Leeds United are closely monitoring Fredrik Aursnes. Although the midfielder still has a one-year contract with Molde FK, he reportedly wants to leave the club. Toulouse is another club looking to rival Leeds United in the pursuit of Aursnes, who is expected to cost around £5 million.

Who is Fredrik Aursnes?

Having signed for Molde back in 2016, under the leadership of Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer, Aursnes has been one of the most consistent players in the Norwegian top-flight over the past few years. He has already notched up almost 150 appearances for Molde in all competitions, notably helping the club win the Eliteserien title last season.

Surprisingly, however, Aursnes is yet to win a single cap for the Norweigian national side. It may have been a different story, though, had it not been for Coronavirus forcing football to a halt for at least three months earlier this year.

Nonetheless, having been one of the club’s top performers, Aursnes is now ready to take the next step in his career by moving elsewhere, and both Toulouse and Leeds United are potential options.

What can he bring to the table?

A defensive midfielder by trade, Aursnes is primarily utilised as a number six, alongside either an eight or two attacking midfielders. He is, however, a more technically oriented midfielder, meaning he emphasises on passing and ball retention. The 24-year-old also can make good runs off the ball.

Leeds United are closely monitoring Fredrik Aursnes - He is a brilliant passer.
200616 Fredrik Aursnes of Molde during the Eliteserien match between Aalesund and Molde on June 16, 2020 in Alesund. Photo: Marius Simensen / BILDBYRAN / Cop 238 aalesund bbeng eliteserien football fotball fotboll molde

Aside from that, Aursnes is an excellent ball carrier and has great positional awareness. He is surprisingly good when it comes to aerial duels as well, despite boasting a relatively short 1.79m frame. However, the Norwegian certainly needs to improve on his physical capabilities.

How can Aursnes aid Leeds United?

Aursnes seems like a viable option for Leeds United for multiple reasons. The Molde FK midfield ace can provide some much-needed depth in the holding midfield role, where Marcelo Bielsa has only one reliable option in Kalvin Phillips.

The Whites notably found it difficult to manage things when Phillips got injured during the final phase of the campaign, with Ben White being forced to operate in that number six role. But with the addition of Aursnes, Bielsa shouldn’t have that problem.

In fact, the 24-year-old might even provide an incentive for Phillips to fight harder for a regular place in the starting lineup. In addition, Aursnes can also be deployed in the number six role, which would allow his potential teammate to operate further upfront, alongside Mateusz Klich in the attacking midfield roles.

Simply put, Aursnes’ potential arrival at the club could open up countless tactical possibilities for Bielsa and for a fee of just £5 million, he can be a bargain for Leeds United.

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