Gabby Agbonlahor’s early career as a footballing pundit has seen the Aston Villa icon instantly spark up a feud with Leeds United supporters on social media – and Danny Mills on Instagram. Marcelo Bielsa is a myth, Leeds are going to go down and they need to rotate their side more – all claims which clearly show Agbonlahor knows little about the Argentine manager and his ways. But a recent claim might just make sense.
Leeds need an attacking midfielder. Rodrigo, although he has endeavored greatly, is not an attacking midfielder and does not provide the required level of quality alongside Mateusz Klich. The Whites need a player to partner the Polish star – Rodrigo De Paul came close in the summer but Leeds failed to meet Udinese’s asking price, while Michael Cuisance failed a medical.
The need for that player remains. The Whites need a player in Pablo Hernandez’s mould – but one that has the legs to last 90 minutes in the Premier League, with Hernandez only really effective off the bench. An attacking midfielder is required then, and Agbonlahor might have just identified the best available option in the January window.
Speaking to TalkSPORT following the defeat to Brighton on Saturday afternoon, Agbonlahor was speaking to Leeds supporters after Neal Maupay scored the only goal of the game. He suggested the Whites should consider a move for Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard – after speaking about the need to bring in cover for Kalvin Phillips.
There has been some chat on Twitter claiming that Agbonlahor suggested Lingard would be good cover for Phillips – but the retired striker simply suggested Lingard as a “good addition” for the Elland Road club: “I’ll throw a name out there that you might agree with, or not. Jesse Lingard, I feel like he could be a good addition to the Leeds squad – get him on loan for six months.”
Yes, Lingard plays for Manchester United and yes, the England international has struggled of late. Yes, also, his personality is hardly one that is most-liked in the football hemisphere – but regardless of that, an in-form Lingard massively improves Leeds United’s midfield. Under Bielsa, Lingard can get back to his brilliant best that saw him shine for England at the 2018 World Cup.
Available for nothing in the summer, the 28-year-old midfielder is likely to be allowed to leave United this month on loan – given he has failed to make a single Premier League appearance this season. He offers versatility, playing on either flank or in the 10 role – something Bielsa likes. He offers the homegrown quality, he offers innovation, vision, creation, speed, goals and assists. He offers Premier League experience.
So, even though it is a surprising thing to say, maybe Agbonlahor’s suggestion of Lingard at Elland Road might be a good one – even if a move is unlikely.