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Leeds: Whites backed to sign John Buckley

Leeds: Whites backed to sign John Buckley -Leeds United Transfer Rumours

Leeds United would be wise to complete the signing of Blackburn Rovers midfielder John Buckley, according to former England striker Kevin Phillips.

The Lowdown: Buckley shining at Blackburn

The 22-year-old has been an impressive performer at Ewood Park this season, playing a key role in Tony Mowbray’s side mounting a genuine Premier League promotion push.

Buckley has scored once and registered six assists in 24 Championship starts in 2021/22, and the midfielder has been linked with a move to Leeds (as per Sky Sports’ Transfer Centre, 14 January, 11:24am) as Marcelo Bielsa continues to look at possible January signings.

The Latest: Leeds urged to seal move for Buckley

Phillips believes that Buckley would be an excellent addition for Leeds, telling Football Insider about the Blackburn gem’s quality despite playing in the Championship. The 48-year-old gushed:

“Blackburn have been in great form this season and he’s been a big part of that. If you get a good player from a club that is flying in the Championship midway through the season you’ve done well.

“He’s a centre-midfielder which is a position Leeds desperately need to strengthen in. He’s versatile as well which is a bonus, so it’s a big signing if they can do it.

“At the end of the day though, it’s always a gamble signing a player from the Championship. It’s a jump to the Premier League. It could be a signing that pays off though.

“From Blackburn’s point of view, there is no way [Tony] Mowbray will let any of those players go on the cheap.”

The Verdict: Is he good enough?

There is a potential snobbery surrounding bringing in players from the Championship, but much like fellow Leeds target Lewis O’Brien at Huddersfield, Buckley looks capable of making the step up to the Premier League, given the quality he has shown this season.

The 22-year-old has been described as ‘wonderful’ by his manager Mowbray, who also claimed that the player possesses ‘snake hips’, which suggests that Buckley would add guile in the middle of the park at Elland Road.

A tenacious presence in the middle of the park, he has won 2.5 tackles per game this season (second only to Stuart Dallas among Leeds’ squad), while just four Whites players can better his match average of 1.2 key passes. These figures show that the Blackburn ace has plenty of string to his midfield bow.

With Kalvin Phillips out injured and Adam Forshaw also picking up a minor hamstring issue, Buckley could be someone who helps fill the void this month, preferably with another midfield signing on top of that.

In other news, a journalist has talked up a potential Leeds reunion with one player. Find out who it is here.

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Article title: Leeds: Whites backed to sign John Buckley

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