Kevin Phillips Backs Leeds United To Sign Turkish International: Can He Solve Bielsa’s Problems?

Leeds United being involved in pursuit of Okay Yokuslu - An absolute bargain.
Okay Yokuslu of West Bromwich Albion during the Premier League match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich. Picture date: 14th February 2021. Picture credit should read: Darren Staples/Sportimage PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK SPI-0904-0096

During an interview with Football Insider, Kevin Phillips has shed more light on Leeds United being involved in the pursuit of Okay Yokuslu. The former attacker believes that the midfielder could be a smart signing for the Whites, as they look to further strengthen their ranks following an impressive return to the Premier League.

I think he’s a really good player. It remains to be seen what happens with Kalvin. Let’s hope he stays, but if he was to leave then I think Yokuslu would be a good addition to the team. I think he would definitely be a good backup option for him if he does move on.”, he told Football Insider.

Okay Yokuslu’s Short Stint At West Brom

Okay Yokuslu arrived in the Premier League in January, joining West Brom on a short-term loan deal from Celta. He was brought in to offer more quality in a midfield department that was struggling with quality.

A defensive midfielder by trade, Yokuslu didn’t require much time settling into his new life in England. He became a first-team regular at the club, forming West Brom’s second line of press alongside Conor Gallagher and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Although the Turkish international wasn’t able to prevent the Baggies from being relegated, he made a decent impression with his technical abilities in midfield. His assurance in possession, combined with his experience, composure and work ethic evidently added more quality to Sam Allardyce’s midfield department.

Unfortunately, Yokuslu ended up having a dreadful Euro 2020 campaign as Turkey were knocked out of the group stage. He also doesn’t appear to have any future at Celta Vigo. Hence, a return to England is on the cards, with Leeds United emerging as a potential destination.

Leeds United being involved in pursuit of Okay Yokuslu - He had a disastrous Euro campaign.
Okay Yokuslu of Turkey during the World Cup 2022 Qualifaction group G match between Turkey and Latvia at Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul , Turkey on March 30 , 2021. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxTUR

How Does He Fit In At Leeds United?

Despite enjoying a successful return to the Premier League, Leeds United are facing an uncertain future ahead. Their midfield department is a particular concern, with Pablo Hernandez leaving the club while Kalvin Phillips’s future remains doubtful.

Mateusz Klich didn’t have an overly impressive end to the 2020/21 campaign, leaving makeshift midfielder Stuart Dallas as the only reliable option in the middle of the park.

The addition of Okay Yokuslu, therefore, could turn out to be useful. The Turkish international can offer some much-needed depth in the Leeds United midfield, but perhaps most importantly, it is his assurance in possession and composure that should give the Whites an additional edge.

In many ways, the Celta Vigo outcast can be a direct replacement for Phillips. But if the Englishman remains at Elland Road, Yokuslu can then be employed in the main holding hole, allowing Phillips to express himself more going forward. The midfielder isn’t expected to cost a fortune either – making him a potential bargain for Marcelo Bielsa.

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.