Journalist Pete O’Rourke has reacted to reports claiming that Leeds United are interested in signing Napoli striker Dries Mertens this summer.
The lowdown: Leeds interested in Mertens
This comes after the Whites were linked with an audacious attempt to bring the 35-year-old to Elland Road, according to a report from Belgian outlet Voetbal Flitsen.
It has been claimed that Leeds, Crystal Palace and mega-rich Newcastle United are all keen on bringing Mertens to the Premier League.
The veteran is the Serie A club’s record goalscorer with 148 in 397 appearances, and the thought of the experienced Belgian arriving in Yorkshire would certainly excite one intrigued onlooker…
The latest: O’Rourke on Mertens
He said: “If they could get somebody like him in, it’d be a massive statement signing from Leeds United. I think it’ll be a hard deal to do, but the opportunity to play in the Premier League is something that maybe appeals to Mertens at this stage of his career.”
The verdict: No-brainer
Mertens is perhaps no longer at the peak of his one-time incredible powers, but given his capabilities of playing as a centre-forward or in the trequartista role, signing him as a soon-to-be free transfer would be a superb piece of business from Victor Orta.
Despite his advancing years, the Belgian was hailed by journalist Josh Bunting for a ‘world class’ strike in a stunning 8.50-rated display against Lazio in November (Sofascore), with two goals, two successful dribbles and a 100% passing accuracy on the night.
Mertens scored 13 times and provided two assists from 37 appearances across all competitions in 2021/22, proof of a continued ability to thrive at the elite level, which would be a huge boost to Jesse Marsch’s ranks as the American seeks quality cover for Patrick Bamford after an injury-hit campaign for the 28-year-old.
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