Leeds United are said to be looking at Sevilla attacker Lucas Ocampos ahead of the summer transfer window, with The Mail reporting that Leeds are ‘thought to be keen’ on the Argentine. They face competition in pursuit of the Sevilla star – who was crucial in his side’s Europa League triumph last season – but here are three reasons why he is the perfect summer signing:
Previously signed by Bielsa
Bielsa signed the 26-year-old during his brief stint at Marseille. Midway through the 2014-15 season, Marseille moved to lure Ocampos from Monaco on loan for the remainder of the season – a deal that was made permanent that summer. While Bielsa has stated that none of the deals made during his tenure were by him – Ocampos starred under his fellow countryman.
That means, if Ocampos joins Leeds, he instantly knows what is required of him. Players have failed at Leeds under Bielsa – most notably, Big Kev, or Jean-Kevin Augustin. Injured, out of action for some time with niggling injuries, he failed to cope with Bielsa’s demands. For Ocampos, it would not be a shock and it would surely allow him to hit the ground running.
Where Ocampos does fit in, in a Bielsa-style system, is when it comes down to versatility. This summer, Leeds are likely to be looking at bringing in a player that can play in attacking midfield – where Tyler Roberts has been operating of late. Another body out wide and certainly, cover for Patrick Bamford up front has to be high on the agenda.
Signing Ocampos gives you a bit of everything. He can play as a 10, on either flank or up front. He has the physicality to play as a centre-forward but the athleticism to play in midfield. That Argentine, South American flair is also evident when he has been used in attacking midfield. Perfect.
Value for money?
He is expensive. The Mail claim he has a release clause worth £56million and while Leeds are certainly not going to pay such a figure – if they can get that down to around £40million, it is a no-brainer. That is because he has past experience with Bielsa and is versatile – but he is the next level up when it comes to calibre of player.
If Leeds can sign the likes of Rodrigo and Raphinha in their first summer since returning to the Premier League – then that bar needs to be raised in the second season back in the top flight. Ocampos represents just that.