Thursday, January 27, 2022

Leeds United Are Keeping Tabs On This Eredivisie Full-Back: What Will He Bring To Elland Road?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, ESPN claimed that Leeds United are keeping tabs on Ajax full-back Noussair Mazraoui. However, it is believed that the Whites could face stiff competition from Arsenal in the race to secure the signature of the Morocco international.

Mazraoui’s Impressive Form In Dutch Football This Season

Mazraoui has made an excellent start to this campaign after producing a run of productive displays from the right side of Ajax’s defence. The 24-year-old has registered four goals and three assists in 16 matches for the Dutch club this season across all fronts.

The Moroccan right-back has performed well to average 2.3 tackles, 1.0 interceptions, 1.1 clearances, 1.4 shots, 1.7 key passes and 1.8 dribbles per game in the Dutch Eredivisie. He has even distributed the ball with a lot of conviction as he has made 86.8% of his attempted passes in the Dutch top-flight (stats via whoscored).

Leeds United (Noussair Mazraoui)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – OCTOBER 19: Noussair Mazraoui of AFC Ajax in action during the UEFA Champions League group C match between AFC Ajax and Borussia Dortmund at Amsterdam Arena on October 19, 2021 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/)
Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

What Will Mazraoui Bring To Elland Road?

Mazraoui has decent pace under his belt and can make some quick dashes with the ball down the right flank. He has proven himself to be a solid defender at the back as he can time his tackles well to make a few important interceptions at the back.

The 12-Time Morocco international usally clears his lines when needed and can create some inviting opportunities for his teammates to score. He has also added a few goals to his game which has made him one of the most influential members of Ajax’s squad.

We can expect Mazraoui to bring plenty of quality to Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa‘s defensive department. He will undeniably be an upgrade over Luke Ayling and has what it takes to fight with Cody Drameh for a regular starting spot at Elland Road in the coming seasons.

Mazraoui is primarily a right-back but can also fill in as a central midfielder if needed. His current contract with the Dutch club is set to expire at the end of this campaign. Hence, Mazraoui could be available for a cut-price fee in January or on a free transfer in the summer. At 24, the Leiderdorp-born defensive ace has his best years ahead of him which makes him a decent option for the Whites to pursue next year.

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