Leeds United were reportedly interested in signing Lille playmaker Fares Bahlouli in the summer, but could he have been a better alternative to Lewis Baker?
French outlet Foot Mercato claim Leeds “aborted” a deal to sign the 23-year-old. He played under the guidance of Marcelo Bielsa during 2017-18, featuring 10 times for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
However, he has failed to play for Lille this season. Instead, he has been left to rot in the reserves after a move to Elland Road in the summer fell through with Leeds opting against a reunion.
Playmaker Bahlouli has turned out for the likes of Lille, Lyon and Monaco, and has caps for France’s under-21 side. But he has somewhat fallen by the wayside in the past year.
Leeds chose not to land Bahlouli and instead brought in Lewis Baker on loan from Chelsea. Fast forward a few months into the season, and attacking midfielder Baker has struggled at Elland Road.
Bielsa has afforded the ex-England Under-21 captain just one Championship start, with the likes of Samu Saiz, Matuesz Klich and Adam Forshaw starting ahead of Baker.
Bahlouli has the ability to excite fans and create something out of nothing. Despite his lack of recent game time, he has clocked up 31 appearances in France’s top tier as well as scoring two goals.
Perhaps, under his former manager Bielsa, Leeds would have got the best out of the Frenchman. In turn, that surely would have made him a better signing than Baker.