And still the signings keep coming
Wednesday, 28th Jun 2017 22:14 by Tim Whelan
First it was Mateusz Klich, then Madger Gomes, and tonight Leeds are reported to be on the verge of completing a deal to sign Ezgjan Alioski.
On Friday Leeds signed Polish midfielder Mateusz Klich for £1.5 million, and the second arrival of the summer was 20-year-old Spanish midfielder Madger Gomes, who joins us from Liverpool. He is seen as one for the future and he will initially play for the under 23s, but he will train with the first team squad, and could be used as a back-up if need be.
We are now reported to be close to completing a deal to sign Macedonian international Ezgjan Alioski from Swiss club FC Lugano, with a fee as high as £5 million being mentioned. Alioski can play in several positions, as prefers to operate on the right wing, but he can fill in as an attacking midfielder or as a striker if need be. He has 13 caps for his national side, and scored 17 goals in the top Swiss division last season.
We have also been linked with SD Huesca forward Samu Saiz, who could be coming to Leeds for a medical next week, if we can stave off the competition for his signature from Spanish clubs Eibar and Real Betis. He would cost around £3 million, and he scored 12 goals and produced eight assists in Spain’s second division last season.
Meanwhile, the ever-reliable Daily Mirror have suggested that we could bring Jonny Howson home from the wilds of East Anglia. But they’ve reported that Howson would cost as much of £5 million, so despite the emotional appeal of re-signing a local hero, we would have to consider whether he would be the best player available for that price.
And the defence hasn’t been forgotten either, with a possible move for Iceland international Sverrir Ingason, while Felix Wiedwald could be joining us from Werder Bremen as a backup goalkeeper. It’s not thought likely that Rob Green will be displaced as our first choice keeper any time soon, but Marco Silvestri is likely is likely to be heading back to his native Italy.
We do of course have one member of last season’s team to replace, as Charlie Taylor’s contract expires, but at least we are entitled to a ‘development fee’ because of his age. At first WBA seemed to be his likely destination, but we failed to agree a fee with them, and the 23 year old could now be heading for Burnley for a fee of £5 million.
Finally, we also have the option to bring back two players who spent most of last season out on loan, and who most of us had forgotten were still on the books. Toumani Diagouraga, has joined the rest of the squad for pre-season training, and will hope to get the chance to work his way into the new manager’s plans. Gary Monk packed him off after that dreadful opening game at QPR, but by all accounts he played well in spell at Ipswich later in the season.
Rather less welcome is the news that Giuseppe Bellusci is available for Leeds again, but thankfully Leeds have granted him extended leave to remain in Italy to find another club rather than darken our doors again. He spent last season at Empoli, so it’s no surprise that they were relegated and don’t want to keep him on.
But for some reason it’s been reported that several Italian clubs are now chasing Bellusci’s signature, so good luck to them. And it’s excellent news for those of us who thought the main was a complete liability throughout his time at Elland Road.
With the number of signings Leeds are chasing and the amounts of money being talked about, the new chairman is certainly showing plenty of ambition. It will take a while for a clutch of signings from different countries to find an understanding once the season starts, and we’ll have to hope that they prove to be worth the transfer fees paid for them, but next season is starting to look quite exciting!
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