One of the things that was supposed to change at Leeds United with the appointment of Marcelo Bielsa was the ability of the team to attract big-name loanees from some of the more glamourus clubs in the Premier League and in world football.
Bielsa has good relationships with many coaches and managers throughout the world, but the two in the Premier League that are the highest profile are Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham Hotspur.
I get very, very, very few transfer rumours dropping my way these days (well done: LUFC), but I've heard Foden & Foyth are there for the club to say yes to. I assume that means they're offered and i just requires club consent, but by Jesus what a couple of signings they'd be.— Simon O'Rourke (@simon_orourke) June 20, 2018
So while it’s a little shocking to see names such as Juan Foyth and Phil Foden mentioned in the same breath as Leeds, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Guardiola has said that he considers Bielsa to be the “best manager in the world” and Pochettino’s links to Bielsa go back to Argentina when the Spurs manager was signed to Newell’s Old Boys youth team by Bielsa.
Phil Foden is an exciting starlet at Manchester City in the England youth system. The midfielder recently turned 18 years old and has just come off of a Premier League season where he appeared 10 times in the first team and another 12 times for the Premier League 2 (U23s) team. And while he only got one assist in the Premier League, he did get 7 goals and 6 assists in those 12 games for the youth team at Manchester City.
Foden would likely lineup as an attacking midfielder or winger in the forward “3” in Bielsa’s preferred 3-3-1-3 formation. Leeds lacked quality depth at forward and winger last season, and introducing someone of the talent level of Foden would be a far cry from past loans and signings such as Hadi Sacko or Pierre-Michel Lasogga.
These types of rumours will be floating around with the obvious links between Guardiola and Pochettino to Bielsa, so while they might seem a little extreme, they aren’t out of the realm of possibility. The only negative part of this rumour is the inclusion of Foyth, as there has been almost no mention of Foyth leaving White Hart Lane during the summer transfer window. The status of Toby Alderweireld at Spurs is not set, and it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for Pochettino to let both Alderweireld and a potential replacement in Foyth leave during the window.
It’s a spicy rumour for sure, but don’t be surprised if the rumour doesn’t pan out. Elland Road doesn’t leak like it used to and even last year the “solid” rumours seemed to come from outside of England. So will Foden join Leeds? Probably not, but there’s still a decent chance.