With just six days left in the January transfer window, the amount of business Leeds United has done so far has been underwhelming to say the least. Several players have been linked to the Whites, and with a promotion run coming, you’d think Monk and company would have added someone by now.
But, with the help of a certain player’s agent and some awful reporting, a familiar rumour has popped up again, and potentially, a move to England might be in the early stages. But could Leeds be the club that grabs him? Doubtful.
VfB Stuttgart’s star player and Romanian international Alexandru Maxim has scored two goals and registered five assists through 16 games. Stuttgart currently plays in Bundesliga 2, the second tier of German football, and for the past few weeks, Maxim has been “linked” with a move to Leeds.
But Maxim’s agent, Herbert Briem, instead said this to the German news outlet Bild this week, when rumours of a Mexican club’s interested started to spread... (rough translation here, our TIAT German skills are a bit weak):
"Players who want to improve are moving from Mexico to Europe, not the other way around. Alex looks the same. There will be no club change on bending and breaking. Currently there is no transfer available. That would be only an option if the offer comes from a top league."
He’s also quoted (everywhere else) as saying this...
“I advise Alex to play football where you have top prerequisites and where you believe in him. The prerequisites are given in Stuttgart. The faith is currently not 100 percent there. But there have been many situations that have changed completely in a short time. Alex has the quality of being a top player.”
Less responsible news outlets have been saying that these “players moving to Europe” and “top prerequisite” quotes indicate he’s coming to Leeds United as was rumoured earlier in 2016. That sure gets clicks....
...but the German article goes on to say that Briem indicated a move to Leeds United wouldn’t be happening because “England’s second league is out of the question for him.”
So Maxim wants to play “big time football” in Europe, but Leeds isn’t big enough for his agent. Or maybe his agent is just playing tough with Cellino and Radrizzani. Or maybe he’s just negotiating with Stuttgart. Who knows.
What we do know is that in no way did that interview say he was coming to Leeds United.
We also know that you shouldn’t read crap clickbait transfer articles.
Leave that to us, and we’ll try to filter some of the truth from the rest of the garbage.
That said, if Maxim does actually want to play in England (we’ll go down that rabbit hole), Leeds should consider him, if he’ll consider Leeds. Garry Monk hasn’t made any additions to the squad so far in this window, and he checks some of the boxes for what we’re looking for as we continue our push to the Premier League.
Alexandru Maxim is a natural attacking midfielder, versatile, good on the ball, fast, and a younger version of Pablo Hernandez. Tactically speaking, the move would benefit the entire squad not just in the area of squad depth, but it would help players such as Kemar Roofe and Souleymane Doukara to play their respective positions instead of playing right behind Chris Wood. I like Kemar Roofe either up top or on the wings. And with Maxim/Hernandez in that 10 role, Roofe, Sacko, Doukara and the rest can fill in around the quality in the center of the midfield.
Alexandru Maxim has a dream of playing top football in England, maybe. If he does, and if his agent is just posturing with all the “second division isn’t happening” garbage, we should welcome him at Leeds United.
His apparent quality and aggressive style of play would make him a fan favourite, and he would have the chance to be a part of a special season (and many seasons to come, should we earn promotion).
The 26-year-old is in the prime of his career, and he should not be spending it in the second tier of German football. Instead, he should be spending it in England with Leeds United, a team with a lot of history, and a team with a great future ahead.
Come on Alexandru Maxim, the ball is on your side of the pitch. Don’t let your agent hold you back from joining something special. Make your move. MOT.