Cast your mind back to Leeds United’s summer of spending and you will likely recall seeing a wry smile on Victor Orta’s face. Who could blame him, either?
The Spaniard had just broken the club’s transfer record to sign Rodrigo from Valencia but things very nearly ended in tears when the window came to a close.
A deal to bring Michael Cuisance to the club fell through due to a failed medical, while a legal battle was ongoing with RB Leipzig over Jean-Kevin Augustin.
The failed transfer for Cuisance will have brought huge frustrations. The former Bayern Munich youngster was as good as through the door at Leeds but complications meant that he went back to Germany and ultimately signed for Marseille.
Leeds chose not to sign anyone else, but the January window has given them an opportunity to make amends. They could do so by signing versatile Chilean Erick Pulgar.
Should Leeds sign Pulgar this month?
The Fiorentina midfielder has reportedly become an option for Leeds this month and if they did sign him, it would be a superb piece of business.
Pulgar is the definition of a pit bull in the middle of the park and would combine the best elements of both Kalvin Phillips and Mateusz Klich. That alone should have Leeds fans standing to attention.
The 26-year-old has failed to find the net this term but in 2019/20, he was an almighty lynchpin for La Viola in Serie A. He scored seven times and registered six assists in the process. While achieving those stats in the final third, Pulgar also offered a great deal defensively.
Making 66 tackles in the Italian top-flight, he produced two tackles per game. For context, that’s just 0.3 fewer challenges a match than Phillips. Klich, meanwhile, completed 1.9 tackles on average so the two players are incredibly alike.
Clearly, the 24-cap international has plenty to give, something typified by Cesare Prandelli. “He has good physical geometry, he is powerful,” the Italian commented.
Though, for a better opinion on the midfielder, you only need to read words from journalist Tim Vickery, someone who has previously assessed his suitability for Leeds. He once stated: “Erick Pulgar is a defensive midfielder, plays with Fiorentina in Italy, and in fact, in the last couple of years, he seems to have added goals to his game.”
He continued: “He’s been ghosting into the box, he’s tall, versatile, and if there is something in this, then I think he would be an asset, I think he would be a solid citizen to bring into Leeds’ central midfield.”
This would certainly be an intriguing addition, one Orta simply has to make to help his manager out.
Phillip and Klich are clearly important players for Leeds and given the amount of football Leeds will have to play between now and the end of the season, adding further bodies will no doubt help.
You only need to look at how Leeds lost 3-0 to League Two Crawley to understand there is a lack of quality throughout the entire squad. Pulgar, therefore, would help Bielsa rotate without losing such a huge degree of quality as he did last weekend.
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