Better than Pablo: Orta can get £27m-rated ace hailed a “great fit for Bielsa’s Leeds” – opinion

Better than Pablo: Orta can get £27m-rated ace hailed a “great fit for Bielsa’s Leeds” – opinion

According to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay, Leeds’ interest in Udinese midfielder Rodrigo de Paul “remains serious”.

What’s the word?

Reports in recent days have suggested Marcelo Bielsa’s side are keen on bringing the Argentina international to Elland Road in this transfer window, as they look forward to their first season back in the Premier League.

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And having already clinched the signings of both Rodrigo and Robin Koch, Hay has claimed that Leeds are still firmly interested in bringing Udinese’s De Paul to the club, and that they have the money to pull it off.

Hay adds that the versatile midfielder is keen to go to a team “where he’ll be a main player”.

Better than Pablo Hernandez

Valued at £27m by Transfermarkt, De Paul enjoyed an impressive 2019/2020 campaign for Udinese, scoring seven goals and providing seven assists in 35 games across all competitions.

Whilst he played the majority of his games in the middle of the park, the 26-year-old is more than comfortable playing further forward.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Evening Post, Smarterscout’s Dan Altman claimed: “There aren’t any central midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues who can match Rodrigo de Paul’s style of play and his pitch coverage.

“He’s most active in the right channel, crossing midfield, but he can pop up almost anywhere. He’s an avid defender, and his attacking contribution is huge at a Premier League standard. He’s Argentine and has enormous output on both sides of the ball, so he seems like a great fit for Bielsa’s Leeds.”

Pablo Hernandez was Leeds’ chief creator last season in the Championship, averaging 2.3 key passes per game – the most of any Whites player. De Paul matched that total in Italian football’s top-flight, but also managed more dribbles per game than the Spaniard – 1.8 to 1.1.

De Paul looks like the modern day midfielder in the sense that he can both score and create, as well as do his part defensively like Altman points out. If they can get this deal over the line, Leeds could get a player who is several years younger than Hernandez, and arguably better than him too.

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