Leeds United are reportedly closing in on the signing of Manchester City midfielder Yangel Herrera, who is also a target for Atletico Madrid.
According to a report from El Gol Digital, Leeds United are inching closer to the capture of Atletico Madrid target Yangel Herrera from fellow Premier League club, Manchester City.
Herrera, 23, plays as a defensive midfielder but is yet to register a single minute of action for Pep Guardiola’s side, despite having joined Manchester City back in 2017 from Atlético Venezuela as a 19-year-old.
Since becoming a Cityzen, the Venezuelan was constantly sent out on various loan spells, starting with City’s sister club New York City FC in MLS. He was then shipped to mainland Europe, as he featured for La Liga basement boys SD Huesca. But it was his stint at Granada where he really excelled the most and has now attracted interest from clubs like Atletico Madrid and Leeds United.
Los Rojiblancos are looking to replace the outgoing Saul Niguez with Herrera but those plans have now been scuppered as Leeds are moving quickly in the transfer market to secure the services of Venezuela international. Earlier, Herrera was in thought’s of Guardiola as a potential Fernandinho replacement, but the club are now keen to offload him to generate extra funds to secure top targets, Harry Kane and Jack Grealish.
On the other hand, Leeds, having missed out on their top target Rodrigo De Paul to Atletico Madrid, are now on the lookout for a defensive midfielder who can support Kalvin Phillips in midfield double pivot. Herrera is a defensive powerhouse in midfield and excellent at screening the centre-backs. He can also sometimes act as an adept box to box midfielder and scored three goals last term.
But it is his ability to cut out attacks effectively that sets him apart from other midfielders and makes him an ideal replacement for Saul. A bit similar to Kalvin Phillips, he’s a solid distributor of the ball, but the things which separate him from the Englishman are his physicality, aerial dominance and willingness to get into the opposition box every now and then.
Reading out his defensive stats from the last term, he won 3.9 aerial duels and averaged 2.6 tackles & interceptions per 90. Herrera has spoken in his past interviews about his desire to test himself in the intense Premier League. Additionally, it is believed that the player has a great sense of admiration for Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa and would want to work under him if provided with the chance.
At 23, he would be a decent pick-up for Leeds. He has the potential and build, which are the essential elements to become a Premier League player and working under one of the best coaches on the planet who knows how to improve players can only be a good thing for the Venezuelan.