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Mateo Joseph sheds light on Leeds United negotiating tactic that made them more attractive than Barcelona

Mateo Joseph celebrates for Leeds United

Leeds United prospect Mateo Joseph Fernandez has explained how the club persuaded him to choose them over the likes of Barcelona.

Mateo Joseph joined Leeds in January, making a switch from Espanyol. He initially linked up with their under-21 side, for whom he remains in contention. The striker is yet to make his senior debut for the club, but is showing his potential.

Indeed, in the current season, Joseph has scored five goals from five games in Premier League 2 Division 2. He began the season with a four-goal haul in a 5-2 win away at Derby County’s equivalent youth team.

Under contract with Leeds until 2025, Joseph might be hoping for a breakthrough at some point over the next few years.

He has already been identified as a player of significant potential. Before Leeds got hold of him, Barcelona were believed to be looking at him, with a view to guiding him from the academy, to the B team, to the first team – showing just how high his ceiling could be.

However, Joseph opted to come to England for the first time in his career, rather than stay in the same vicinity in Catalonia.

Now, it has come to light how Leeds were able to convince the teenager that they were the better option.

“The last year [2020/21] I think was the best year for me,” Joseph said on Academy Dreams: Leeds United, a new Amazon Prime Video documentary series.

“It was the most difficult league in Spain for youth and I [was] the top goal scorer. So, a lot of teams came.

“They [Leeds] knew me better than even my family. [The] PowerPoint about me about everything I did on the pitch and off, I think that interest, that make my family and I make this choice.”

Hard work ahead for Mateo Joseph to justify decision – but signs are positive

Joseph will be hoping the decision pays off in the long run. For now, he must continue focusing on establishing himself at under-21 level.

Leeds are currently top of their table at that bracket, with four wins and one draw from five games so far. If they keep up that form, some of their players might come into first-team contention.

Joseph will have a lot of competition to prove himself alongside. Leeds have a few promising young attackers, like Joe Gelhardt, Wilfried Gnonto, Sam Greenwood and Sonny Perkins.

Patrick Bamford remains their main man up front for the time being. But they clearly have a lot of options in the succession plan.

Only time will tell which ones flourish, but Joseph’s form at under-21 level, like Perkins’, is looking promising. Gelhardt and Greenwood are already mixing with the senior setup, while Gnonto has arrived as a full Italy international despite his tender years.

The future could be bright for Leeds thanks to their conveyor belt of attacking talent. All their prospects will have to keep working hard to fulfil their potential.

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