Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

EXCLUSIVE: Victor Orta turns to Anderlecht with assist machine eyed to replace Leeds struggler

Sergio Gomez, Anderlecht left-back during Jupiler Pro League game against Club Brugge

Leeds United are looking closely at a deal to sign Spanish defender Sergio Gomez, TEAMtalk understands.

The former Barcelona starlet is currently with Anderlecht, where he is performing a starring role. The left-back has one of the biggest assist counts from defence in Europe, with 10 to his name already this term. He has also chipped in with five goals for the Jupiler Pro League side.

At just 21, Gomez offers a young option and that ties in with their desire to bring down the average age of their squad.

Leeds, however, are not alone in their pursuit and a number of other clubs also see the appeal of Gomez. Indeed, we understand the likes of Lyon, Atalanta and Ajax are also amongst a host of sides checking on him regularly.

Furthermore, Real Madrid are also reportedly monitoring Gomez’s progress in recent months. Chelsea too have also been linked previously.

However, he is very much a player of interest for director of football Victor Orta, who is looking to bolster Leeds’ options down the left.

The Whites brought in Junior Firpo last summer from Barcelona for a fee of £12.8m.

The former Spain Under-21 defender, however, has endured a difficult first season in England.

Arsenal and Leeds target Noussair Mazraoui receives contract offer

Arsenal and Leeds target Noussair Mazraoui has received a contract offer from Barcelona

Having seen his progress halted by first Covid and then injury, Junior Firpo has made just 22 appearances in all competitions for Leeds.

There have been glimpses of his ability. For example, he impressed during the 3-2 defeat at Chelsea, a game many see as his best for Leeds so far.

Junior Firpo faces Sergio Gomez competition

However, by and large he has endured a difficult first season. The 25-year-old has clocked up nine yellow cards in that time, struggling in several games with the one at Brighton – against Tariq Lamptney – standing out.

And his miserable season may be over already, having suffered a bad knee injury in the recent 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa.

Speaking prior to the win at Wolves, Leeds boss Jesse Marsch came clean on the full-back’s medial knee ligament injury.

“Junior has an MCL,” he said. They think it’s not so bad, a lighter grade two issue. It’ll be three to five weeks from date of injury.”

If his recovery proves to be on the slow side, Firpo might recover in time for Leeds’ last four games of the season.

However, with Stuart Dallas ably covering, Firpo may find a route back into the side harder than expected.

Furthermore, should Leeds succeed in bringing in Gomez, there will be some serious competition for Firpo at Elland Road next season.

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