Rodrigo De Paul and Michael Cuisance came within an inch of joining Leeds United in the summer, as Victor Orta looked to add midfield depth to Marcelo Bielsa’s side. De Paul’s valuation eventually priced the Whites out of a move, while Cuisance made it all the way to Thorp Arch – only to fail a medical. The lack of midfield cover is beginning to show.
Mateusz Klich is shattered. He was even dropped against Newcastle from the starting line-up and although no blame has been attached to the Poland international – his form has dropped. He needs competition or cover alongside Rodrigo, a player that can create or score goals from the middle of the park, one that has Premier League experience.
But Leeds are hardly going to spend big sums of money, especially in the January window. A loan deal is much more likely, and would suit the Whites a whole lot more. Arsenal may be about to present the perfect opportunity to Bielsa and Orta – according to Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth, who claimed The Gunners are ready to sanction a loan exit.
“That’s the same time Joe Willock’s contract runs until. [Martin] Odegaard’s arrival has, perhaps, pushed him down the pecking order so, perhaps, he may be made available for loan,” Sheth said. The 21-year-old has hardly been given a chance in the Premier League by Mikel Arteta this season, despite previously playing 61 times for the Gunners before the 2020-21 campaign began.
It is in the Europa League where Willock has shone. Three goals and three assists in five group games has seen him show his best quality – and while the argument would be the opposition is poor, it is still about breaking down a low block, something which Willock is clearly good at. From midfield, he has had a hand in 15 goals during his 78 appearances for Arsenal.
But if the England youth international is allowed to leave Arsenal on loan before Monday’s deadline, surely that presents the perfect opportunity for Leeds? Goals, assists, creativity, stamina, and a steely determination to prove Arsenal wrong for his lack of opportunities at The Emirates this season – Willock on loan could be just what Leeds need.