Leeds United news: Whites linked with summer swoop for Premier League defender

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After suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of Aston Villa and West Ham United earlier this month, Leeds United made a welcome return to form on Saturday by securing a point in their clash with Chelsea.

Given that the Blues were brimming with confidence heading into this fixture following their recent victories over Liverpool and Everton, they would have fancied their chances of beating the Whites at Elland Road.

However, in what turned out to be a tight clash, both sides had to settle for a draw.

Although Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa will be focusing on picking up as many points as possible between now and the end of the season, it is hardly surprising that he is already eyeing up a potential swoop for a defender this summer.

According to page 69 of the print edition of the Sunday Mirror, the Whites have identified Patrick van Aanholt as a target ahead of the upcoming transfer window.

Yet to agree fresh terms with Crystal Palace, the defender will be available on a free transfer when his existing deal expires in June.

A regular for the Eagles in recent months, van Aanholt has started five of his side’s last six Premier League games.

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When you consider that van Aanholt boasts a considerable amount of top-flight experience, he could turn to be a bargain as Bielsa will not have to break the bank in order to sign him.

Having already played 209 games at Premier League level, the 30-year-old defender knows exactly what it takes to succeed in this division and thus his presence at Elland Road could help the Whites push on next season.

Given that Van Aanholt has averaged 6.54 progressive carries per game this season, (via FBRef) he may end up thriving in Leeds’ formation which relies on the full backs to offer attacking support as this is a higher figure compared to what the club’s existing defenders have been able to produce.

Furthermore, with Ezgjan Alioski’s future up in the air due to the fact that he has yet to agree a new deal at the club, Van Aanholt may turn out to be the perfect replacement for the 29-year-old.

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