With the return of the 2020 Copa Libertadores already underway, it’s always important to see who’s shining in South America’s prestigious tournament. There is a long history of South American players arriving at European leagues. Recent players like Vinicius Junior, Pablo Mari and Arthur have played in the Copa Libertadores prior moving to Europe. To see potential European bound stars, here is a list of ten players Leeds United should target before the end of the summer transfer window or when the mid-season transfer window begins.
10. Diego Alves (Goalkeeper, Flamengo, 35-years-old)
Alves’ contract is coming to end this December which Leeds could pick him up as a free transfer. This move would be beneficial for Leeds due to Alves’ expertise as a penalty stopper (22 career penalty saves, a La Liga record). A big plus is that he is not Kiko Casilla.
9. Yeferson Soteldo (Left Winger, Santos, 23-years-old)
Venezuela international Soteldo would perfectly fit well in Leeds since he played under Jorge Sampaoli, a tactical disciple of Marcelo Bielsa.
8. Gustavo Gomez (Centre-Back, Palmeiras, 27-years-old)
Gomez is capable in playing every position at the back. What would intrigue the Leeds management is that he can develop attacks from behind. It didn’t work out great for the Paraguay international at AC Milan but his form at Palmeiras has been intriguing.
7. Oslimg Mora (Right Winger, Alianza Lima, 21-years-old)
Recently selected by Peru manager Ricardo Gareca for the upcoming qualifiers, Mora is adept at covering the right side of the pitch. Being utilized both as a right winger and right back, Mora covers a lot of ground which would suit Bielsa, especially the right-back role.
6. Santiago Rodriguez (Attacking Midfield, Nacional, 20-years-old)
The Uruguay U-23 star shows he is capable of dominating against centre-backs. Rodriguez is both an attacking midfielder and winger, though he sometimes can be a false 9. Rodriguez at Leeds may see him taken as a backup for fellow attacking midfielder Pablo Hernandez.
5. Walter Kannemann (Centre-Back, Gremio, 29-years-old)
Argentina international Kannemann’s experience under pressure is something that Bielsa should not overlook. The two-time Copa Libertadores champion is no stranger to big games which would be beneficial in fixtures against the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.
4. Nicolas Capaldo (Central Midfield, Boca Juniors, 21-years-old)
At age 21, Capaldo established himself as a starter for Boca throughout the 2019-20 season where they won the Superliga. Capaldo’s aggressiveness on the pitch makes him an ideal central midfielder. Bielsa could line him up in between Helder Costa and Jack Harrison as one of two ‘number eights’.
3. Matias Rojas (Attacking Midfield, Racing, 24-years-old)
The Paraguay national team star is another utility midfielder that can play well on the wing and attack. Rojas would add more strength in the midfield core alongside Rodrigo, Costa, Harrison and Mateusz Klich.
2. Julian Alvarez (Centre-Forward, River Plate, 20-years-old)
The Argentina U-20 and U-23 star was a key factor in River Plate’s draw vs São Paulo last Thursday, assisting and scoring a goal. Alvarez is excellent at finding holes in opposing defences. Playing under Marcelo Gallardo, a tactical disciple and former player under Bielsa, Alvarez would fit perfectly in Bielsa’s starting lineup.
1. Agustin Almendra (Central Midfield, Boca Juniors, 20-years-old)
Dubbed the ‘New Riquelme’, Almendra has been pursued by many clubs from around the world. His speed, his way of working around defenders, and easily locating forwards and so on make him an ideal star. Boca Juniors were hesitant of shipping him to the MLS which would downgrade his potential which is why I believe Almendra belongs in the Premier League. The gifted Almendra would be a perfect fit to showcase what he is all about when playing under Bielsa.
This is a stacked list of talented players which would make a great impact for Leeds in the future to come. Let us know your thoughts below or @ThruItAllLUFC on twitter.