Leeds United: Victor Orta should regret missing out on Michael Cuisance

Michael Cuisance

Leeds' summer transfer window was an enthralling affair.

After securing their passage to the Premier League for a first top-flight appearance since 2004, the Whites went out and spent a bucketload on new recruits. 

Rodrigo became the club's record signing from Valencia for a fee of £30m before the likes of Robin Koch, Diego Llorente and Raphinha all penned terms. 

Considering how Leeds started the new season, it's hard to suggest that their transfer business wasn't worth it. 

Although they lost on the opening weekend to Liverpool, they then beat Sheffield United, Fulham and drew with Manchester City.

Since then, however, they have suffered crushing 4-1 defeats against both Leicester and Crystal Palace.

All of a sudden cracks are starting to appear in what is usually a well organised and defensively consistent machine.

Marcelo Bielsa

The issue? Well, one of them has been the lack of Kalvin Phillips. The England international missed both games and their midfield, as a result, has lacked structure and balance. 

Marcelo Bielsa has tinkered with his options in the middle of the park, fielding Mateusz Klich, Pablo Hernandez and Jamie Shackleton against Leicester. Versus Palace, meanwhile, the Argentine went with Klich, Stuart Dallas, Pascal Struijk and Gjanni Alioski.

Clearly, none of those combinations worked. 

Bielsa isn't one to throw his players under the bus or look for excuses, but one solution this season could have been Michael Cuisance.

Michael Cuisance and Kyle Walker

The Frenchman was as good as through the door until his proposed £18m move from Bayern Munich fell through.

One of the Leeds doctors picked up a problem during the midfielder's medical, and thus, he was sent back to Germany.

Cuisance didn't have to wait long for another suitor and joined Marseille, a club where he's settled in with aplomb. 

Comparing Leeds' midfield to Michael Cuisance

Now, with Phillips in the squad, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.

However, with the holding midfielder on the treatment table, it's a dialogue we're simply having to have. That's especially given the way Klich's form has dropped off after a promising start and Hernandez looking far from his best.

Consequently, Cuisance would have been a good signing.

The most interesting statistic, from a Bielsa standpoint, is the number of pressing duels he completes per game. Pressing the opponent is a key aspect of Leeds' football so it speaks volumes that he's been more effective at that than Phillips, Klich and Shackleton. 

Not only that, but the Frenchman also completes more dribbles, has a better pass accuracy and wins more duels overall both offensively and defensively per match.


Of course, the 21-year-old's medical problem may have come back to bite Leeds, but in terms of his performances in Ligue 1, he's shown himself to be a very capable player.

It's a pity the Whites decided against signing him because his ceiling is particularly high. 

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