Leeds United Opinion: Why Bielsa should have signed Jese Rodriguez?
According to a report from El Desmarque, Leeds United were very much interested in signing Paris Saint-Germain forward Jese Rodriguez on loan in January. However, Real Betis won the race ahead of Leeds United for the PSG winger’s signature in the end.
Leeds United sit on top of the Championship table after 32 matches, just a point clear of second-placed Norwich City. The Whites are keen for a return to the Premier League and are looking good to do just that.
Marcelo Bielsa did bring in two reinforcements in the January transfer window, landing goalkeeper Kiko Casilla and midfielder Mateusz Bogusz. He also wanted to add a winger to his squad and had all but captured Swansea City’s Daniel James on the transfer deadline day, only for the deal to collapse in the eleventh hour.
Leeds were also interested in Jese Rodriguez, who has struggled for form since joining PSG from Real Madrid in 2016. The winger joined Betis last month, reuniting with former Las Palmas manager, Quique Setien to get back to his best. But how costly could Jese’s miss be for Leeds?
After acquiring the services of Casilla from Real Madrid, signing Jese would have been a massive statement from Leeds. A tricky, pacey and agile customer, the Spaniard is effective playing anywhere in the attacking third. He has tremendous pace to burn, is direct and loves to bamboozle defenders with his silky dribbling skills.
Jese is strong on the ball and has the ability to pick a pass. A quality crosser of the ball, the former Spain U21 international is also a composed finisher in front of goal. His versatility is an asset and would have given Bielsa a lot of flexibility in the attack.
The departure of Samu Saiz in January has left Leeds a little light in terms of creativity and dynamism in their attack. Jese would have been an upgrade on Saiz, giving the Whites a natural boost in their hopes of getting promoted to the Premier League.
Missing out on a player of Jese’s quality and experience is certain to haunt Leeds, particularly with the club firmly in the promotion mix. Also as the Whites have looked a little jaded in 2019, the skilful Spaniard could have added some fresh impetus and spark to their attack.
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Hence, Bielsa has missed a big trick by not getting Jese’s deal over the line in January.