Leeds: Darko Gyabi can ease Ounahi blow

Leeds United enjoyed a widely celebrated January window, in which almost every facet of the team was bolstered.

It seemed like when they set their sights on a target, they would accomplish the deal with speed and precision.

That was, however, not the case with Azzedine Ounahi.

The Moroccan had earned widespread praise for his performances at the 2022 World Cup, in which he played a starring role in their historic run to the semi-finals.

Acting as a workmanlike battler in midfield, his ability on the ball was instrumental in allowing their transition to be so devastating. Heavyweight giants such as Spain, Portugal and Belgium all suffered at their hands.

Such was his bolstered pedigree, the 22-year-old earned links to some prestigious clubs including the Yorkshire outfit. It was reported mid-way through the window that the Whites had even submitted a bid for his services, as they battled with Napoli.

However, in the end, it was Marseille who secured his signature, thus quelling this tiresome saga.

Although Weston McKennie was acquired late on, he does not represent a direct alternative for the skilful yet hard-working youngster, who not only recorded 1.3 tackles and one interception per 90 during the World Cup but ranks in the top 1% for dribbles completed when compared to midfielders across Europe.

Jesse Marsch does boast an easy solution to breeze past this failed deal, however, by promoting his talented teenage sensation Darko Gyabi into the first team.

The 18-year-old was signed from Manchester City in the summer for a £5m fee and has since gone on to make just three senior appearances for the club.

Should Leeds unleash Gyabi?





However, clearly inundated with incredible talent, there is no reason to suggest that he could not hold his own in the Premier League after a string of fine displays for the U21s.

With three goal contributions in ten Premier League 2 games from central midfield, he has also featured heavily in their run in the Football League Trophy, where he is averaging a 6.93 rating.

Boasting an eye for goal, he has also recorded 2.3 tackles and 1.7 clearances per game alongside an 83% dribble success rate, via Sofascore.

He excels in all the aforementioned outstanding areas of Ounahi’s game, and according to his youth manager Michael Skubala only grows with each passing week: “He works hard, Darko works really hard. You can probably see in his performances that he’s working really hard.

Can you get 100% on this Leeds World Cup transfer quiz?

Question 1. After starring for England at the 2002 World Cup, how much did Leeds sell Rio Ferdinand to Manchester United for?

“I think we have a really good, young, competitive midfield group at the moment within the 21s and you’ve seen Darko get good minutes in there. I think his performances are getting better and better and I thought against Forest he was really strong.”

With the future so bright at Elland Road, Gyabi can quickly strike this failed saga from Marsch’s mind by now playing his way into contention.

#Leeds #Darko #Gyabi #ease #Ounahi #blow


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