Former Leeds United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has backed the Whites to seal a move for Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley in the January transfer window.
The Lowdown: Leeds linked with Barkley
The 28-year-old has fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge this season, making just one start in the Premier League and going way down the pecking order.
The midfielder has been linked with a move to Leeds as Marcelo Bielsa looks to bolster his squad, but Everton and other suitors are also thought to be interested.
The England international’s current Chelsea deal expires in 2023, so the Blues are running out of time to receive a fee for him.
The Latest: Kenny backs Barkley links
Kenny believes that Leeds signing Barkley – with whom he briefly played at Elland Road during a loan spell for the midfielder in 2013 – would be a good deal, as he told Football Insider:
“Leeds could do with a new midfielder who knows how to attack after the number of injuries they have had. Again, he’s not playing at Chelsea so I would imagine he is definitely available.
“Whether he is what Bielsa wants, who knows? Everyone who comes will have been signed off.
“So if he comes in it would probably be a good move.”
The Verdict: Something different in midfield
While Barkley has never quite made it at the very top level, rarely being an indispensable presence for Chelsea, he could be an exciting addition for Leeds this month if they can acquire him.
He has 33 caps to his name for England, which is no mean feat, and he possesses the ability to break the lines in the middle of the park and dribble at pace. He has also been hailed as a “dedicated” player with “great quality” by his former Blues manager Frank Lampard.
Barkley has averaged 1.4 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per game in the league this season, highlighting how he could bring something different in midfield for Leeds, with Kalvin Phillips averaging 0.6 and 0.3 per game respectively by comparison. Kenny is right to talk up an Elland Road return for his former team-mate.
In other news, Phil Hay has made a key Leeds transfer claim. Read more here.
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