Leeds make contact to sign Ligue 1 star

Dimitri Payet in trainign

Leeds United’s current Premier League position doesn’t look particularly healthy.

It must be said, however, that we are only one game into the new season.

The Whites may have lost against Liverpool last Saturday but going forward, they looked mightily impressive.

Jack Harrison had the beating of Trent Alexander-Arnold while Patrick Bamford helped himself to a rare top-flight goal – just the second of his career.

But while they were fluid in the final third, it would have been their desire to fight and keep going until the final whistle that caught the eye the most.

For those who watch Leeds on a regular basis, this is no surprise.

Marcelo Bielsa’s painful training sessions prepare the side for 90 minutes of lung-busting manoeuvres and relentless pressing. In many ways, they sound like Liverpool.

Marcelo Bielsa at Anfield

Despite looking promising in their 4-3 defeat at Anfield, Victor Orta knows that he still needs to strengthen this Leeds side. Rodrigo de Paul continues to be linked but a move is far from certain.

As a result, United have looked for alternatives. 

According to Le10 Sport, they may have identified one. They claim that Leeds have made contact with Marseille’s Dimitri Payet in a bid to bring him to Elland Road.

It’s reported that Marcelo Bielsa personally phoned the player this summer, which made the 33-year-old think long and hard about his future. 

Bielsa made the sell that he would be one of the main men in an attractive Premier League side but unfortunately, the Frenchman looks set to stay at Marseille.

Payet signed a new contract until June 2024 only two months ago so a move at this stage looks unlikely. 

Dimitri Payet and Morgan Sanson

GIVEMESPORT’S Matt Dawson says…

You can talk about the pros and cons of this deal over several pints at your local pub – there is simply so much to consider.

Payet is now 33, just two years shy of Pablo Hernandez and on top of that, he is injury prone.

The attacking midfielder hasn’t had any particularly long layoffs but in recent years, he’s had a habit of missing a few games. 

In 2017/18, he had three separate issues and then in 2018/19, he suffered from Medial Collateral Ligament injury. 

That being said, let’s just remember how good he was when he last played in the Premier League. On his day, he can change the course of a match and dominate teams at the click of his fingers. 

Dimitri Payet

For West Ham, he scored 15 goals and created 23 in 60 outings, being celebrated as the best in the division during the 2015/16 season. Chris Sutton waxed lyrical about Payet, saying:

“He has got that unbelievable eye for a pass, on top of his free-kick ability, and he is one of those players who is a reason why fans buy tickets or turn on the TV.”

As for his performances at Euro 2016, he was described as “extraordinary” by Kingsley Coman after scoring a rasping effort to win the opening game.

Payet is someone who commands the respect of his teammates – it’s a shame that Leeds are likely to miss out.

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