Monday, March 20, 2023

Leeds United Plot A Move For This Turkish International: A Smart Choice By 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 Transfermarkt, as cited by TransferMarketWeb, Leeds United have set their sights on Okay Yokuslu. The Celta Vigo star has once again become a subject of discussion among the Whites camp, with Marcelo Bielsa determined to sign a new midfielder. Yokuslu is available in the market for just €7.5 million, but Leeds United are set to face stiff competition from Watford and Wolves.

Okay Yokuslu’s Brief Spell In The Premier League

Okay Yokuslu spent the second half of the 2020/21 campaign on loan at West Bromwich Albion, joining the club in January. He was brought in to offer some composure and solidity in the middle of the park.

He gelled in relatively alongside the more robust and dynamic duo of Conor Gallagher and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, notching up 16 league appearances. But it wasn’t enough to save West Brom from the wrath of relegation, with Yokuslu eventually returning to his parent club Celta Vigo this summer.

A central midfielder by trade, the 27-year-old hasn’t had a positive couple of months, though. He has fallen out of favour at Celta, which was coupled with a disastrous Euro 2020 campaign that saw Turkey getting knocked out of the group stage.

However, that hasn’t seemed to deter suitors, who highly rate Yokuslu for his excellent technical abilities and proficiency in possession. He is a good tackler of the ball as well, making him a good number six.

Leeds United have set their sights on Okay Yokuslu - He was met with disappointment in Euro 2020.
Okay Yokuslu of Turkey during the EURO 2020 Group A second match between Turkey and Wales at Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 16 June 2021. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxTUR

A Good Option For Leeds United?

Leeds United are in desperate need of midfielder reinforcements given the lack of depth in their team right now. The club lacks a proper alternative for star player Kalvin Phillips, whose injury woes had already put the Whites in trouble multiple times last season.

That is where Okay Yokuslu comes into the fray. The Turkish international is a calming presence in the middle of the park, who can offer Leeds United something they do not usually get from their current crop of midfielders.

The 27-year-old brings a wealth of experience as well, having featured in a combined total of over 200 top-flight matches in Spain and Turkey. It could prove to be useful for an otherwise young Leeds United setup.

Moreover, Yokuslu is quite versatile and can operate in a more defensive role, if required. He can thus serve as a backup not only for Phillips but also the three centre-backs. And for a fee of just €7.5 million, he could indeed be a potential bargain for the Yorkshire giants this summer.

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