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Is Frederico Venâncio the Heir Apparent to Kyle Bartley at Leeds United?

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The Portuguese centreback has been linked with a move to England... could “Venansson” be the pairing of the future?

SL Benfica v Vitoria Setubal - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

With reports varying on how close Leeds United are in sealing a permanent transfer for Kyle Bartley, it seems that United are already looking at alternative options if their Plan A ultimately fails.

Until the Bartley transfer reaches a final verdict, I think it is safe to say that there will be endless rumors linking centrebacks to Leeds. Frederico Venâncio gets the honor of being subject #1 in the rumor mill.

The Sun (and others) reported (yes, yes, we hate the Sun too) that Leeds United are among a number of Championship side clubs that include Derby County and Reading interested in signing the 24-year old.

Playing for Portuguese side Vitória de Setúbal, the youngster has already been named the captain of Os Sadinos. Venâncio has been playing with the Setúbal senior team since 2012 and has also been a part of the Portuguese national team as a member of the u20 and u21 teams. He’s a leader, and has been for some time, and is a young player that Elland Road could love for a long, long time.

Venâncio reminds me of a three-inch smaller, dark-haired version of Pontus Jansson.

Could you imagine having two Pontus Janssons?

Venâncio, like Jansson, isn’t afraid to throw his body in the line of a shot. Countless times in his highlights you can see him lunging to block a shot, not caring about the soreness he’ll feel the morning after. Legs, back, chest, you name it. As long as it’ll stop the shot, Venâncio will do it. Both are very skilled with their heads and, at the right moments, both have an eye for goal. A Venâncio-Jansson pairing would be a very strong one.

Benfica v Setubal: Primeira Liga Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

I really like Venâncio’s vision. Time and time again, Fred sends beautiful through balls from midfield which are put in almost the correct place each time. It’s a skill that, with the right coaching and the right team, can be honed and used as a prolific weapon. A weapon that Chris Wood would cherish dearly.

During Leeds’ collapse from the playoffs, the Kiwi was not getting enough touches, but you could blame that on wingers not having enough attacking presence. Enter a guy who can give you countless chances to attack by constantly sending the ball your direction. Give these guys a handful of games together and they’d be best friends.

Thank me later.

If his youth, international experience, playing ability, leadership, passing, “so what?” defensive mentality, and facial hair don’t all already impress you, here’s one more bonus: he wants to play in England. Last January, Venâncio declined a move to Greek giants Olympiakos because he fancied a move to England. It never came to, but it can this summer. Even if Kyle Bartley stays, there is a need for centrebacks at Elland Road. And if Leeds called, Venâncio would be smart to pick up. MOT.