Leeds United have been rocked by the revelation that Samu Saiz will be joining Getafe on a season-long loan deal when the January window opens for business.
The dazzling style of free-flowing football which Marcelo Bielsa has installed at Elland Road was embodied by Saiz during the early stages of the season. Almost every scintillating attack which Leeds created was orchestrated by the Spanish playmaker, with his technically astute style of play providing the brains behind the operation.
But eventually Saiz was found out by Championship defenders and his threat was consequently nullified. Bielsa mixed things up but there was little concern over Saiz’s long-term future until, out of almost nothing, it was confirmed that he will be joining Getafe.
What next for Leeds? Well, Izzy Brown’s latest injury setback has left the club without a natural number ten and his lack of first-team football this season and beyond is a major cause for concern.
In a nutshell: Leeds simply cannot rely on Brown for more reasons than one. With that said, Bielsa may be forced to go against his instincts and bring a new player to the club in January, and Manchester City’s Brahim Diaz should be at the top of his wishlist if he eventually decides to strengthen.
Diaz, 19, is set to sign a pre-contract agreement with Real Madrid in January, according to a recent report from El Chiringuito (via Sports Mole). If that report eventually proves to be true it will represent another huge setback for Man City in their endeavour to promote youth players into the senior squad.
Along with Phil Foden, Diaz is the hottest prospect to emerge from City’s academy since Sheikh Mansour purchased the club in 2008. The tricky Spaniard was handed a rare start against Leicester City yesterday evening, and he showcased a level of confidence in possession which would get supporters on their feet at Elland Road; skipping beyond players with incredibly ball control and agility came naturally, while his interplay in the final-third was incredibly quick-witted.
He is unquestionably a rough diamond in comparison to the more complete and well-rounded Saiz, but his raw level of potential is vastly superior to almost anything else on the market and, considering his future reportedly lies away from Man City, Pep Guardiola is unlikely to have any interest in keeping him at City.
And Bielsa’s positive long-standing relationship with Guardiola could make all the difference if he decides to pursue a deal for Diaz. Considering the circumstances and Diaz’s breadth of outstanding attacking qualities, Leeds should be targeting him to guarantee a smooth transition into a post-Saiz future.
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