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Leeds United conclude deal for vastly experienced defender; a veritable bargain?
Thursday, 11th Jan 2018 11:48 by @LucasMonk_

Leeds United have today confirmed the signing of 25-year-old left-back Laurens De Bock, who moves to Elland Road from Club Brugge of the Belgian Pro League.

Leeds United have today bolstered their defensive ranks by securing the signature of Belgian left-back Laurens De Bock, 25, with the player acceding to a four-and-a-half year deal at Elland Road.

De Bock, who began his professional career with Sporting Club Lokeren in 2013, is a highly distinguished professional. The player made more than 100 competitive appearances for Club Brugge between 2013 and 2018, and lifted the Belgian Pro League title in the 2015-16 season in addition to winning the Belgian Cup (2014-15) and the Belgian Super Cup (2016).

Furthermore, De Bock has also represented Belgium at multifarious youth levels, whilst also earning call-ups to the Belgium national team in November 2014 and March 2015 - though he is yet to earn an inaugural cap for his country.

De Bock's transfer to United has been precipitated by a change in formation. Although he was one of Brugge's most salient first-team players when they famously secured the league title in 2016, Brugge's manager, the Croatian Ivan Leko, has favoured a 3-5-2 formation that obviates the need for conventional full-backs. De Bock has thus been limited to a mere eight appearances this season, and has ostensibly signed for Leeds in the hope of gaining regular football.

Owing to the slipshod form of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Tyler Denton's inexperience, many observers opined that the United management needed to strengthen the squad by capturing a left-back. This they have done, and, for a reputed £1,500,000, they may have secured a veritable bargain. De Bock offers copious experience, is a player possessed of appreciable prestige - having lifted three trophies with Brugge - and has time on his side at 25.

De Bock could make his first appearance for Leeds on Saturday, when the Whites do battle with Ipswich Town at Portman Road in a 15:00 (GMT) kick-off. The defender, who represented Brugge in both the UEFA Europa League and Champions League, is United's third signing of the January transfer window, following in the footsteps of 21-year-old Japanese midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi (Gamba Osaka) and towering 19-year-old central defender Aapo Halme (HJK Helsinki). He has been allocated the number 12 shirt.

Photo: Action Images

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