Leeds United

Leeds United


Five left-backs Leeds United have been linked with ahead of the January transfer window: Wagner, Guerreiro…

Leeds Utd target Kai Wagner

Leeds United are reportedly looking to sign a new left-back in the January transfer window and they have a few options to consider. 

Jesse Marsch’s side went into the season with one natural left-back in Junior Firpo, who has struggled with injuries and made just two Premier League appearances in 2022/23.

Pascal Struijk, who usually plays at centre-back, has had to fill in at left-back and Leeds expert Phil Hay believes they will sign a new full-back in January.

We’ve taken a look at five left-backs that they’ve been linked with in recent months.

Raphael Guerreiro

The most high-profile name on this list, Guerreiro has been with Borussia Dortmund since 2016 and has thrived in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League.

He’s renowned for his dribbling ability and loves to contribute high up the pitch, registering 37 goals and 39 assists in 206 appearances in all competitions for Dortmund.

“[He is] an amazing player,” Dortmund manager Edin Terzic said last year. “So you see especially against a deep defending side, we want him to get on the ball because he makes things happen.”

Guerreiro has won 56 caps for Portugal, helping his country triumph at Euro 2016 and in the 2019 UEFA Nations League. The left-back will also be going to the 2022 World Cup after being named in Fernando Santos’ 26-man squad.

The 28-year-old has previously been linked with Barcelona and was reportedly on Manchester City’s shortlist in the summer transfer window but those moves failed to materialise.

His contract at Signal Iduna Park is set to expire at the end of the 2022/23 season, and he can sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs once the January transfer window opens. 

TEAMtalk exclusively revealed that Leeds director of football Victor Orta has his gaze firmly fixed on Guerreiro and they are preparing a contract offer to lure the Portugal international to Elland Road in the new year.

But the report adds that Serie A giants Juventus want a new left-back and are also monitoring Guerreiro’s situation so Leeds will have to act quickly if they want to get the deal done. 

Gerardo Arteaga

A name that might not be too familiar to Leeds fans, Arteaga came through the academy at Mexican side Santos Laguna before moving to KRC Genk in 2020.

He helped KRC Genk win the Belgian Cup in his debut season and his all-action style has led to comparisons with Real Madrid legends Roberto Carlos and Marcelo.

During the summer transfer window, Marca claimed that Leeds were one of the clubs ‘best positioned’ to sign Arteaga, alongside both Brighton and Fulham.

The report adds that the Mexico international, who has won 17 caps for his country, is also a target for Salernitana, Real Betis, Villarreal, Celta Vigo and Getafe. 

He remained at KRC Genk and they are currently seven points clear at the top of the Belgian Pro League, but he has been considering a move away.

“Thank God I’ve been doing well in this league,” he told Marca in January. “It’s a lower level league but not to put it that way, it’s a very competitive league, you can’t give any advantage but obviously personally I always want the best, I would like to move on to another, even better, higher-level league.

“I still have a few seasons left on my contract here, but if I could leave earlier, I would be delighted, always to improve.”

Josh Tymon

After a difficult start to his Stoke City career, Tymon established himself as one of the Championship’s best left-backs in the 2021/22 season. 

“He has all the attributes you need to play at the top level and he’s developing his game all the time,” former Stoke manager Michael O’Neill said earlier this year.

“His decision making is getting better, his final ball is getting better. What he has to do now as a more natural left-back is development defensively as well and I think he’s doing well at that.”

A report from Football Insider claimed that Leeds registered their interest in the 23-year-old during the summer transfer window. He was also linked with Rangers and Norwich City but ultimately remained at the bet365 Stadium.

The Hull City academy graduate has struggled with injury problems this season but has still registered a goal and two assists in eight Championship appearances.

While there has been no recent update on Leeds’ interest in Tymon, he is reportedly valued at £6m and could be a bargain deal for Marsch’s side.

Sam Clucas, Josh Tymon Stoke City

Kai Wagner

Since replacing Marcelo Bielsa in the Leeds dugout earlier this year, Marsch hasn’t been afraid to use some of his contacts in his native America.

USA internationals Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams both arrived at Elland Road over the summer and Leeds were also linked with Kai Wagner, who plays for Major League Soccer side Philadelphia Union.

Marsch has a good relationship with Philadelphia Union manager Jim Curtin, who has revealed that the Leeds boss spoke to him during the summer transfer window and asked about Wagner.

While Leeds ultimately decided against making a firm approach for the defender, they are still on his trail and could submit an official bid in January. 

The German excelled both offensively and defensively during the 2022 MLS season, registering nine assists and keeping 15 clean sheets in 36 appearances.

His impressive performances helped Union reach the MLS Cup final, where they lost to Los Angeles FC in a penalty shootout. The 25-year-old also earned his first MLS Best XI selection and was named as an MLS All-Star for the second time. 

“He’s the best left back that we have in MLS, and we’re lucky to have him here in Philly,” Curtin told the Philadelphia Inquirer in September.

Curtin added: “He continues to get better and better as the season goes. When there’s constant noise in and around, transfers and this and that, to be as professional as he’s been and just put his head down and play is not easy to do. He’s done a great job of that.”

MLS insider Tom Bogert has since stated that the left-back will ‘absolutely’ move to Europe in January but Leeds reportedly face competition from Dinamo Zagreb and Benfica.

Marsch will be hoping that Aaronson, who previously played alongside Wagner at Philadelphia Union, can convince his former teammate to pick Leeds.

Fabiano Parisi

Having played in Italy’s fourth tier during the 2018/19 season, Parisi has enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent years.

The left-back joined Empoli in the summer of 2020 and helped them win Serie B in his debut season. He then made a seamless step up to Serie A in 2021/22 and his displays reportedly caught the attention of several clubs, including Leeds.

“Yes, the last few days of the market have been very hectic,” agent Mario Giuffredi told Tuttomercatoweb in September. “I consider him [Parisi] a great team player, he can be the transfer man for January or for the summer. He is of the highest standard. He can aspire to important goals.

“We had many clubs, from Atalanta to Torino to Fiorentina, Leeds and Nice, also in agreement with Empoli.”

The Italy Under-21 international decided to stay at Empoli and has been in sensational form this season, making an average of 2.4 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 2.4 clearances per 90 minutes. 

Parisi, who is reportedly valued at around £10m, has also caught the eye going forwards, bagging two goals and creating 14 chances for his teammates.

A move in the January transfer window is very much on the cards for the 22-year-old and Inter, Juventus, Lazio and Napoli have reportedly joined the race for his signature.

Leeds have bought some very talented young players in recent years and Parisi could potentially be the long-term solution to their left-back problem.

READ MORE: Leeds Utd transfer news: ‘Firm interest’ confirmed in attacker with 25 goals this season