Why Leeds did well by not signing Southampton’s Mohamed Elyounoussi
According to a report from Teesside Live, Leeds United failed with a deadline day move for Southampton winger Mohamed Elyounoussi.
Mohamed Elyounoussi, 25, joined Southampton from FC Basel last year. However, he struggled at St. Mary’s, playing just 16 games in the Premier League last season and barely featuring after the appointment of Ralph Hasenhuttl as manager.
Therefore, it is no surprise to hear that the Saints were considering letting the Norway international head to Elland Road this summer. Unfortunately, Leeds United simply couldn’t afford the wages needed to materialise a deal.
Nevertheless, it could prove a blessing in disguise to miss out on Mohamed Elyounoussi for the Whites.
Elyounoussi succeeded in previous spells with Norwegian side Molde and Swiss giants FC Basel, often getting double figures in terms of goals and assists.
His form earned him a move to the Premier League with Southampton last summer, which seemed the logical step up, but has struggled for form and consistent game time and his days at St. Mary’ appear to be numbered.
Leeds, who are gunning for promotion again, have had to operate on a tight budget this summer. The likes of Samu Saiz and Kemar Roofe departed the club this summer, leaving Marcelo Bielsa’s side light in the attacking department. But Bielsa did well to strengthen his attacking options by bringing in the likes of Jack Harrison, Eddie Nketiah and Helder Costa.
With the proven quality players like Helder Costa and Jack Harrison having both made the move to Elland Road, missing out on Elyounoussi won’t make much of a difference for the Whites.
Also, the system with which Bielsa plays requires players to have high energy, intensity, rhythm and stamina. The Argentinean tactician’s methods and pressing style are somewhat similar to what Hasenhuttl wants to employ at Southampton.
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This is where someone like Elyounoussi won’t fit in. The wide-man hasn’t scored or assisted in his debut Premier League season which goes on to tell how really he has struggled to adapt to the pace and physicality of English football.
Hence, Leeds apparently did a good job by not agreeing on to Elyounoussi’s wage demands. The Whites missing out on the Norway international should be deemed as a blessing in disguise.