Leeds may have revived their interest in Liverpool’s Ryan Kent after Marcelo Bielsa was in attendance to witness his performance against Bradford City on Sunday, report Talksport.
Kent is of interest to the Yorkshire club and Rangers, where he spent last season on loan, but any possible deal seemed to have been deterred by Liverpool’s preference to sell him on a permanent basis.
Bielsa has bolstered his wing options with the signings of Jack Harrison and Helder Costa, and seems eager to add Kent, having stayed behind on Leeds’ pre-season Australia tour in order to see him in action.
Here, in our FLW Six Pointer we take a look at why Bielsa is interested in the 22-year-old and what can be expected of him if he makes the move to the Championship.
Will Kent start games regularly at Leeds?
“If Kent arrives he would add to Leeds’ strength in depth out wide, and he could struggle to break into the team initially.
“Bielsa is clearly a fan of Jack Harrison and Helder Costa is Premier League quality, but if Kent seizes on the chances he gets then he is capable of becoming a key attacking outlet for Bielsa.
“He impressed last season at Rangers and has the ability to take the Championship by storm, in a similar way his Liverpool team-mate Harry Wilson did last season, and he should chip in with a few goals and assists across the season.”
How will he fit into Bielsa’s system?
“He is exactly the type of player Bielsa likes. He offers variety on the wing, taking on opponents, creating chances for team-mates and chipping in with goals of his own.
“The asset Bielsa may prefer however is his preference to cut in on and off the ball. Bielsa likes his wingers to sometimes play narrowly and offer an option in the middle, and Kent is the type of player who loves to pick up the ball before turning and running at the defence.
“He could also be deployed in the role behind the striker, and if he signs it is likely he will interchange with the likes of Pablo Hernandez and Helder Costa to great effect.”
Is playing for Bielsa more appealing than reuniting with Steven Gerrard?
“Bielsa has huge appeal and is likely a big factor in Leeds’ recent signings. Since joining Leeds he has already helped Kemar Roofe and Kalvin Phillips improve their games significantly, as well as others, and that is what a young player like Kent will look for.
“Kent has already experienced Gerrard and what the SPFL has to offer, and he may feel that in order to improve he needs to play at a higher level.
“However, the fact he knows Gerrard could work against Leeds. Kent has definitely made improvements under the former Liverpool player and will know what to expect from him – such as the fact he will get regular game time.”
What will Kent add that Leeds currently lack?
“Kent offers that inventiveness and moment of magic which few Leeds players possess.
“Even when not playing well he has the ability to produce a moment of magic which could win games, and that is vital for a Leeds side chasing promotion.
“Other than Hernandez Leeds lack players to unlock defences and play through balls to players like Roofe. Kent has great dribbling ability and an eye for a pass, which should prove particularly useful when Leeds come up against defensive sides.”
If he impresses could he stay at Leeds long-term?
“Leeds have already made a commitment to sign Helder Costa for a considerable amount of money, and they could do the same with Kent if the deal is financially viable.
“Liverpool reportedly want £12m for him, and if he plays a significant role in Leeds getting promoted then they could tie him down long-term with the additional finances gained through promotion.
“However, on a personal level the player will be keen to break into the Liverpool first-team. He will look at Leeds as an opportunity to show Jurgen Klopp what he has to offer and when he returns he could be closer to the first-team.”
Why would he join Leeds over Rangers?
“Leeds offer Championship football, a division which has proved a great environment for young players to express themselves and develop.
“Its fast pace will suit Kent and the better level of defenders will cause him to up his game, become more inventive and add different dimensions to his game.
“Leeds would also allow him to work with a well-respected, highly experienced manager in Bielsa, as well as training with some top players.”