Leeds United could sign a new Ronaldo Vieira in Cagliari midfielder Nahitan Nandez this summer.
What’s the story?
Reports last summer suggested that Marcelo Bielsa’s side were ready to activate the release clause of the Uruguay international, but a deal failed to materialise before the end of the deadline.
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Now, Italian publication Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness) claim that the Whites are ready to “snatch” Nandez away from Cagliari in the upcoming transfer window, and that the club could sign him for much lower than his reported release clause.
A new Ronaldo Vieira
At the time of Vieira’s move to Sampdoria, Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani made it clear that the deal simply had to be made given the Whites’ financial situation.
He said: “He was one of best players to come from our youth but I cannot put the club in danger in the future. Unfortunately to sustain a club in this league, we need to sell one or two players each year. We’ve invested a lot and it’s not enough to break even, so we had to manage the club and look at the future, not just today.”
The former Leeds midfielder’s break-out campaign at Leeds during the 2016/2017 season saw him establish himself as a real midfield dynamo, averaging 2.1 tackles and one interception per game in the Championship.
That defensive tenacity is exactly what Nandez would bring to the table were he to join up with Bielsa at Elland Road. As per Sofascore, Nandez’s heat-map is a clear indication of the kind of incredible ground that he covers game to game, popping up everywhere to close down and make tackles.
He has won a total of 6.3 duels per game and also makes 1.8 tackles per match too, and that physicality and aggression for someone who’s 5 foot 7 draws natural comparisons with someone like Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante. It’s no surprise that the Cagliari midfielder has even been described as an “a bit of an engine who gets up and down.”
His all-action approach makes him a real dream for Bielsa, and it’s something his agent, Pablo Bentancur, feels also endears him into the hearts of fans too. He said: “Nandez is certainly a great player. The fans always like him because he leaves every last drop of sweat on the pitch.”
Leeds could well sign their new Vieira in the Uruguayan pocket dynamo this summer.