When Leeds United are in town, drama usually follows.
After sealing promotion to the top-flight for their first Premier League appearance in 16 years, they have been in the headlines on a regular basis.
Whether it was signing Rodrigo from Valencia for a club-record fee of £30m or being involved in two 4-3 scorelines in the first two weeks of the season, it has been a rollercoaster ride.
Things haven’t relented either.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side have been impressive this season but in their last two games have shown signs of immaturity and quality. They lost to Leicester 4-1 and were then defeated again by the same score when they played Crystal Palace last weekend.
Welcoming Arsenal to Elland Road, therefore, has probably not come at an ideal time.
The Whites gave Mikel Arteta’s team a run for their money in the FA Cup back in January but this will be a completely different clash. Both sides have increasingly got better since that encounter in north London.
And speaking of improvement, Leeds will probably already be planning their next transfer moves when the window opens again in six weeks time.
One player who could be on their radar is Rodrigo de Paul. Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani spent most of the summer months trying to get a deal done but ultimately, Udinese’s asking price of £37m was too steep.
Personal terms had already been agreed but the two clubs just couldn’t come to an arrangement.
Former Leeds man Danny Mills was speaking about the attacking midfielder this week and revealed that they should look at re-entering the race for him.
Mill told Football Insider: “Having worked with lots of managers throughout my career, it’s not rocket science.
“If you can improve on what you’ve got you bring players in. Simple as that. It doesn’t matter if you’re pushing players out or pushing people’s noses out of joint.
“If you can bring in a player that you believe is better and of higher quality then you do it.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Matt Dawson says…
The short end of the stick is that De Paul would be a significant upgrade on what Leeds do already have. With Pablo Hernandez out of form and Kalvin Phillips on the sidelines with injury, Bielsa has had to tinker with his midfield.
In shipping eight goals in two games, he clearly hasn’t settled on the right combination.
Signing De Paul would not stop the defensive frailties but it may give Leeds more balance in the middle of the park.
Furthermore, it would present Leeds with their long-term Hernandez replacement.
The 35-year-old is no spring chicken and by failing to score or assist this term, is struggling with the more dominant opposition in the Premier League.
De Paul has only scored once this term but his goal and assist numbers haven’t done his performances any justice. For example, the 26-year-old has created 2.7 key passes per match in Serie A this season, as well as managing 2.9 dribbles.
Those are tallies that usurp every single player at Leeds in 2020/21. Enough said.
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