Monday, January 30, 2023

Noel Whelan Urges Leeds United To Sign This Serie A Ace In January: Does It Make Any Sense?

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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 urged Leeds United to sign Rodrigo de Paul. The former Premier League centre forward believes that the Udinese superstar is a key to solving the club’s problem in the central midfield unit and that Marcelo Bielsa should re-enter the market to secure his services in January.

“We are light in that central midfield area, but I would like to have him in there. It wouldn’t surprise me if we went straight back in and got him in January we need to buy in January.”, Whelan told Football Insider.

How Has Rodrigo de Paul Fared This Season?

Rodrigo de Paul was one of Leeds United’s priority targets in the summer, but a move failed to materialise. But if the Whites are to rekindle their interest in January, it would be wise to take a look at his performances in the ongoing campaign.

Unfortunately, things aren’t going all too well for the Argentine, whose team is dawdling at the bottom end of the league table with just one win in seven matches. It has been a result of a lack of spark in the offensive unit, with the club only managing to net six goals so far, only one of which was scored by de Paul.

That said, the 26-year-old has continued to provide the creative essence in the final third despite his team’s troubles. In fact, de Paul’s tally of 2.7 key passes per game exceeds his last season’s numbers, although it’s fairly early in the campaign. He has attempted a shot on goal fewer times, though that reflects the overall struggle of the team.

Noel Whelan has urged Leeds United to sign Rodrigo de Paul - His quality is permanent.
UDINE, ITALY – JULY 29: Rodrigo De Paul of Udinese Calcio looks on during the Serie A match between Udinese Calcio and US Lecce at Stadio Friuli on July 29, 2020 in Udine, Italy. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Can He Excel At Leeds United?

Despite a relatively underwhelming campaign so far, it is fairs to suggest that Rodrigo de Paul has the quality to become an asset at Leeds United. In fact, he is way more likely to thrive under Marcelo Bielsa’s free-flowing attack-oriented system.

Tactically, the Argentine international could prove to be an excellent long-term alternative for the ageing Pablo Hernandez, who seems to be better equipped as a super-sub rather than a starter.

Although de Paul’s presence in the side could make things difficult for Bielsa when it comes to accommodating both him and Rodrigo Moreno in the same lineup, it could ultimately enhance the overall quality of the Leeds United attack.

It is also fair to point out that the 26-year-old can operate in a wider attacking role if necessary. At the same time, he can also provide cover for Kalvin Phillips in central midfield, thus giving Bielsa a host of tactical options at his disposal.

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