Leeds United are in the transfer market for attacking reinforcements in January and you’d imagine that director of football Victor Orta and his recruitment staff have been keeping a close eye on proceedings in Qatar.
While several key members of Jesse Marsch’s squad have been competing at the World Cup in recent weeks, there are numerous mooted transfer targets that have also been in action.
One obvious one has been Cody Gakpo, who has excelled for the Netherlands as Louis van Gaal’s main protagonist. Given just how much of a statement he has made on the world’s biggest stage, it seems rather unlikely that the Whites will stand a chance at signing him, despite coming close in the summer.
Instead, Orta should turn his attention to another star in Qatar – Mohammed Kudus.
Should Leeds launch a move for Kudus?
Leeds have been linked with interest in the Ajax sensation before and he certainly announced his arrival at the tournament by being the Black Stars shining light.
Ghana won just one game, in which Kudus bagged a match-winning brace against South Korea, and lost their two other group games to Uruguay and Portugal. Despite this, the 22-year-old didn’t register a Sofascore rating of below 7.4, which is ultimately impressive for a team that finished bottom of their group.
Aside from scoring twice, some way above his xG of 0.83, the Ajax starlet also averaged 3.3 dribbles per game and even did his defensive duties, with an average of 1.7 tackles and 1.3 recoveries per game, too. Kudus even completed more take-ons than anyone else at the tournament.
Such performances had many watching glowing in praise for the Ghana hero – journalist Rahmen Osman claimed that he was “alongside Bellingham and Musiala the stars of the World Cup,” whilst BBC reporter Mimi Fawaz suggested he had let “the world know he’s arrived on the biggest stage.”
The attacker, who can also play in a deeper midfield role, was keen to make the switch to the Premier League in the summer, with Everton leading the race for £15m. That did not come to fruition but Leeds could well provide him with a place to fulfil that desire at Elland Road.
Kudus, who has also been lauded as a “special talent“, must be high on the Whites’ shortlist heading into 2023 as Gakpo will be a mere afterthought the longer the Dutch remain in the competition, due to the likely European giants now courting his signature.
As such, the 5 foot 9 dynamo could be the perfect remedy to the unachievable PSV man and one that could solve Marsch’s needs in the final third.