Thursday, January 27, 2022

Kevin Phillips Backs Championship Star To Make Leeds United Move: Is He A Good Option 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.

During an interview with Football Insider, Kevin Phillips has backed Michael Olise to join Leeds United. The retired English footballer believes that the Reading FC youngster should explore the option of moving to Elland Road, even though his priority should be to remain at his current club.

“Why would you leave? He is playing week in, week out. Is he going to play at Leeds? Probably not. He may come off the bench and start the odd game, but it would disrupt his development. The other option is he signs for Leeds and then returns to Reading on loan for the second half of the season. I would not have issues with that. You could get him signed up and then send him back. That could be an option.” , Phillips told Football Insider.

Michael Olise’s Rapid Rise To Prominence

A former member of the Chelsea youth academy, Michael Olise had initially made his Championship breakthrough last season, amassing a total of 19 appearances. He failed to score a single goal, though only 13 of those appearances were actual starts.

However, the 19-year-old seems to be firing on all cylinders in the ongoing campaign. He has already been involved in as many as 11 goals in just 20 appearances. His contributions in the final third have fired Reading FC into the promotion race, with the Royals trailing third-placed Swansea City only by three points.

Olise’s chance creation also seems to have aided the two attackers in Lucas Joao and Yakou Meite, with the former notably netting 11 goals in the league so far this campaign.

Kevin Phillips has backed Michael Olise to join Leeds United - One for the future?
Reading v Stoke City Sky Bet Championship Michael Olise of Reading claps NHS workers before the Sky Bet Championship match at the Madejski Stadium, Reading PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxCHN Copyright: xDanielxMurphyx FIL-14350-0011

How Does Olise Fit Into Leeds United?

A number ten by trade, Olise is a versatile attacker who can also operate on both flanks. The 19-year-old is well equipped with the qualities that help him create chances in the final third. He is an excellent ball-carrier as well – making him an ideal cog in half-spaces. Additionally, the youngster can move out wide and thread crosses if necessary.

It makes Olise a tailor-made tactical fit for Marcelo Bielsa’s system. The Reading FC sensation could thrive in the number ten role, just behind the main striker in the Argentine’s 4-1-4-1 setup. Alternatively, he can be considered a potential alternative for Jack Harrison and Raphinha in the wider attacking positions.

It is also fair to point out that both Helder Costa and Tyler Roberts have fallen out of favour recently while Pablo Hernandez has moved down the pecking order following the arrival of Rodrigo. It could make Olise a welcome arrival for the Whites as they look to add more pace, energy and youthful exuberance in the upcoming January transfer window.

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