Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa is eyeing a move for Huesca star Javi Galan this summer as he looks for a new left-back.
What’s the story?
Reports in recent weeks had suggested that the Whites were eyeing up a move for Stade Brest’s Romain Perraud, but according to Football Insider, that deal looks to be dead in the water with the Yorkshire club unwilling to meet the asking price.
The same outlet has now claimed that Bielsa has now instead turned his attentions towards Huesca’s Galan, with a Leeds source telling them that “the club have approached Galan’s representatives to discuss his situation this summer.”
Should Leeds make left-back a priority?
The report adds: “The defender, 26, is of interest to other leading clubs including Sevilla after his release clause dropped from £7m to £3.5m. That has opened the door for Leeds to make a move for Galan, whose contract at Huesca expires in the summer of 2022.”
Perfect fit for Bielsa
While he may be a left-back by trade, Galan has actually outshone Leeds sensation Raphinha when it comes to taking players on – the Spaniard was second only to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in completed dribbles in La Liga last season, with Messi managing 113 in total and Galan behind him with 93.
He managed 3.3 dribbles per game in the Spanish top-flight, with Raphinha way behind on 1.9 – it speaks volumes of the kind of attacking intent and directness that Galan shows when bursting forward from defence.
He was ranked in the 2021 team of the year in the top-flight by Whoscored, while the full-back himself said (as quoted by El Mundo Deportivo): “Seeing you on a table next to Messi always surprises you, but I don’t think about dribbling, but only about helping the team. My game is based on that, on overcoming lines based on dribbling, and that is how I can contribute.”
And, as per La Liga Lowdown: “One of those invaluable full-backs who can cover an entire flank alone, he essentially provides a numerical advantage for his team.
“According to fbref.com, Galán ranks top in tackles won, second for crosses into the penalty area and second for players dribbled past. As football has realised in recent years, it’s hard to negate a full-back arriving at pace. So far Galán himself has proved just that; unstoppable.”
Given how Bielsa has gotten his Leeds side playing expansive attacking football, the £20k-a-week earning Galan appears to be the perfect fit for the Leeds boss.