It’s been rumoured that Leeds United are looking for a loan deal for Lille’s attacking midfielder Fares Bahlouli. The 23 year-old former France U21 international has spent time at Lyon, Monaco, Standard Liege, and Lille.
Marcelo Bielsa aimerait faire venir Fares Bahlouli à Leeds ( marché non fermé en Championship) . pic.twitter.com/MOfEDAS18d— Manu ⭐️⭐️ (@ManuLonjon) August 17, 2018
According to Manu Lonjon of Yahoo Sports France, Marcelo Bielsa would like to take his former player from Lille on loan at Leeds.
Leeds want to sign Fares Bahlouli on loan from Lille as Bielsa is keen to re-unite with the attacking midfielder. #lufc https://t.co/cbjZKJ5i72— DZ Football (@DZFootball_en) August 18, 2018
Bahlouli is only 23 years old, but has already played for a number of teams in his brief career. He started out at Lyon, but moved to Monaco in July of 2015. He played only a small number of games for Monaco before being sent out on loan to Standard Liege, but he was only able to make the bench for the Belgian club before be recalled from his loan in January of 2017 and sold to Lille.
His career at Lille has been nothing to write home about, although he did make eight appearances at Lille under Bielsa, scoring a goal and getting an assist. He started twice under Bielsa, and his only goal and assist for Lille came in one of the games that he started under Bielsa.
Bahlouli has a rather underwhelming career, and a loan move for him would break with this season’s pattern, as Leeds have been looking for Premier League players to take on loan. Leeds brought in a lot of players from abroad last season, and while Samu Saiz and Gjanni Alioski have proven to be good enough for the Championship, most of the rest of the imports have had moved on on loan or in permanent deals.
In addition to the unlikely links to French football, Bielsa’s departure from Lille is still contentious, with the club’s sacking of him and dismissal ending up in court over compensation that Bielsa claimed he was still owed. While football and money always make strange bedfellows, it seems unlikely for a team to deal with a former employee that left on bad terms.
In short, this link has gotten a lot more attention that it probably should have, and it will be extremely surprising to see Bahlouli in a Leeds kit anytime soon.