Leeds Live (h/t Marca) has reported that Leeds United have reiterated their interest in Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Iturraspe. The 30-year-old played regularly just over eight years ago under current Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa, during the 63-year-old’s spell at Athletic Bilbao.
Bielsa spent two seasons at the club, marking the time he managed the most games in his managerial career.
The Basque side punched above their weight under Bielsa, finishing 10th and as a Europa League finalist in his first season. They ended up 12th in his second season. However, despite all that, Ander Iturraspe played an almost regular role as a midfielder.
However, things have worked out for both sides since then, with Bielsa going on to manage Marseille and Lazio before ending up at Leeds United. He has worked wonders with his current squad, which is currently sitting in third position in the Championship.
Their form in recent weeks has seen the former league leaders slump out of the top spot and into third, with the recent loss to Sheffield United. That’s exactly why the Peacocks need Ander Iturraspe next season, especially if they manage to make the Premier League.
The Daily Star has already revealed that Iturraspe is ready to leave his boyhood club, with his current deal expiring at the end of the season. This makes a move more mouth-watering for Leeds, as it allows them to add an experienced star.
So far, Ander Iturraspe has managed to make 319 appearances over his tenure with the club but things have changed this term. The 30-year-old has made four appearances this season and that includes only three starts, having missed 28 games.
It showcases just how much Athletic Bilbao value the midfielder and shows why Leeds United should make a move. Furthermore, Leeds need another midfielder in their ranks. The Peacocks have heavily depended on Kalvin Philips this season, with few others responding.
Eunan O’Kane and Mateusz Klich have both struggled alongside Philips, with only Forshaw stepping up. That is something that cannot continue and a player like Ander Iturraspe will help with rotation. An experienced player and someone who knows Marcelo Bielsa’s style of play and tactics well, Iturraspe would flourish once again at Leeds United.
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Whether or not Leeds United reach the Premier League, they need another midfielder to help back their team when the going gets tough. A tough, experienced and no-nonsense player like Ander Iturraspe is just the addition the Peacocks need and as a free transfer, it’s a move that needs to be made.
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