Marcelo Bielsa planned to convert Ryan Kent into an attacking midfielder, but Liverpool rejected Leeds United’s late offer for the now-Rangers winger, according to The Alethic.
Leeds are alleged to have approached Liverpool on the eve of Deadline Day looking to facilitate a permanent transfer for the 22-year-old, but were rebuffed by Jurgen Klopp’s Anfield side.
Kent had spent the 2018/19 season on loan with Rangers and proved to be a versatile forward option under Steven Gerrard, as the Oldham-born attacker was deployed in four advanced positions across all competitions over the campaign, although he predominantly featured on the left-wing (TransferMarkt).
Only twice did Gerrard utilise the Liverpool product in a central attacking midfield capacity – somewhere he had played just twice before – but Bielsa is said to have seen this as the position where he would have liked Kent to have played.
However, Leeds’ offer of £4million was deemed insufficient and attentions soon turned to landing Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah on loan, with Kent instead returning to Rangers for £7m after Russian side Krasnodar saw a £5m offer also rejected.
The price The Athletic claim Leeds offered comes below the figure touted by the Yorkshire Evening Post recently, as they suggested the Whites had a £4.5m rising to £7m fee agreed, while the Liverpool Echo proposed that a straight £4.5m bid was rejected.
Leeds signing Kent with the view to converting the natural left-winger into a central role would be somewhat puzzling given the depth Bielsa already has in the core of his midfield.
Pablo Hernandez and Mateusz Klich are two of the most creative midfielders in the Championship (per WhoScored) and both can play in the centre, where Adam Forshaw has been offering a rounded alternative with the fifth-most key balls per ninety minutes of any Leeds player, as well as the same number of successful tackles as Klich, according to data collected by WhoScored.
Jamie Shackleton and Mateusz Bogusz also offer a similar forward-thinking skillset from the Under 23s, and should now be in line for a greater share of the action after being involved in a majority of Bielsa’s teamsheets so far this term, but without making a substantial impact on the second-tier.
Leeds fans, would you have liked to see Kent signed and converted into a central option? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Leeds United notifications!