Saturday, June 10, 2023

Leeds United In Talks With European Club For Defensive Starlet: Another Coup For Marcelo Bielsa?

Must Read
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 Fabrizio Romano, Leeds United are eyeing a move for Josko Gvardiol. They have been in contact with Dinamo Zagreb regarding a potential move for the centre-back as Marcelo Bielsa looks to add more reinforcements in the defensive department. Dinamo, however, are not willing to offload Gvardiol for cheap and are holding out for a fee of €20 million.

Who is Josko Gvardiol?

Gvardiol is regarded as one of the upcoming stars in Croatian football, having enjoyed a massive rise in stock over the past 12 months.

A product of Dinamo Zagreb youth academy, the centre-back made his breakthrough in professional football last season, making 11 appearances in the 1.HNL, which is the top flight of Croatian football.

Gvardiol has most recently featured in the UEFA Champions League qualifying stage for the 2020/21 campaign, helping his club win the second round fixture against CFR Cluj.

He is also a consistent figure for the Croatian national youth teams and is tipped to make a breakthrough into the senior side within the near future.

What can he bring to the table? 

Standing at 1.85m, Gvardiol is a physically imposing centre-back. He likes to dominate the defensive half with his tall frame and physical attributes, making him an intimidating presence for any attacker. Another key feature in his game is the sheer determination and commitment.

Leeds United are eyeing a move for Josko Gvardiol - An excellent fighter.
UEFA Youth League, Shakhtar Donetsk – GNK Dinamo 22.10.2019., Kharkiv, Ukraine – The UEFA U19 Youth League group C match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb at FC Metalist Training Ground on October 22, 2019 in Kharkov, Ukraine. Artem Bondarenko, Josko Gvardiol PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxONLY GoranxStanzl/PIXSELL

Indeed, the 18-year-old is a real fighter, who isn’t afraid to commit himself into challenges. Also, Gvardiol has the pace necessary to keep up with the ever-changing nature of modern football while his imposing frame gives him a considerable advantage in the air as well.

So naturally, Gvardiol is also a threat from set-pieces. It combines well with his other defensive qualities, although the young Croatian must improve on his game-reading, positional intelligence as well as temperament.

Is Gvardiol an ideal option for Leeds?

Leeds United have done some smart business this summer, particularly by signing Robin Koch from SC Freiburg. The German international should replace Ben White in the backline and start alongside Liam Cooper in Bielsa’s 4-1-4-1 formation.

However, the Whites do need another centre-back to provide back-up, and that is where Gvardiol comes into the fray. The 18-year-old has the aggression, fighting spirit and exuberance that are necessary for any player to thrive under Bielsa.

That said, Gvardiol, especially for a fee of €20 million, is a massive gamble for the newly-promoted Premier League outfit. He has no experience at the highest level of football and has a lot to improve in his game before he becomes ready to take the next step in his career.

Given the current financial climate in European football, Leeds must invest their money wisely as they face a daunting task of preserving their Premier League status. Spending lavishly on an 18-year-old, in that regard, does not bode too well for the Yorkshire outfit.

Follow Our Tweets On Twitter

Latest News

Liverpool Are Being Linked To This Rising Spanish Star: Should Klopp Bring Him Aboard?

According to a report from Liverpool Echo, Liverpool's summer transfer activity is in full swing following the recent addition...

More Articles Like This