Fulham’s relegation back into the Sky Bet Championship means that the club are facing a summer of speculation, with their star men linked with moves back into the Premier League.
Included in that is Harrison Reed, who has enjoyed a couple of outstanding seasons at the base of Fulham’s midfield, looking at home at the top of the Championship and then in the top-flight.
A report from the Daily Mail has confirmed that Leeds United are amongst the clubs interested in offering Reed a chance to stay in the Premier League, with the Whites tracking the 26-year-old and liking what they’ve seen.
On the back of those links, we run through a couple of lingering questions surrounding the potential transfer:
Is it a good potential move?
Reed impressed on loan at Fulham during the 2019/20 season, running the midfield for Scott Parker’s side in the Championship as they won promotion to the Premier League through the play-offs.
25 appearances across the regular season were backed up by a starring role in the play-offs, with Reed helping Fulham to a 2-1 win over Brentford in the Wembley showpiece.
On the back of that came a £6m permanent move from Southampton, with Reed then proving to be a consistent performer in the Fulham midfield in the Premier League, despite their eventual relegation.
The level of his performance at Fulham has been really consistent and that’s what has convinced Leeds he might be a good option for them this summer.
On the face of how he’s played since pulling on a Fulham shirt, he’d be a shrewd piece of business for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Would he start?
This is the issue for Leeds if they are indeed serious about getting Reed on board.
A key target for Leeds this summer is sourcing some form of cover for Kalvin Phillips in the midfield. Reed is that man, but is he going to oust the England international from the base of Bielsa’s midfield when he’s fully fit? That’s a question that doesn’t really need an answer.
Reed, though, would be outstanding cover for Phillips and fits a similar profile to someone like Adam Forshaw, who has been struggling with injuries over the course of the last two seasons.
Player of the Year, Stuart Dallas, has been utilised in midfield because of that, whilst Mateusz Klich remains a prominent figure in the engine room. Leeds are also said to be interested in an ‘8/10 hybrid’ to ease the burden on the Polish international.
When you start to look at Leeds’ options and targets this summer, you realise Reed would be up against it to muscle his way into the starting line-up.
What does he offer?
As mentioned, Reed is the desired cover for Phillips and offers depth to a position that is crucial to the way Bielsa plays.
An 86.2% pass success rate (whoscored.com) underlines how Reed looks after the ball and matches up nicely to Phillips (84.7%).
Both also average over two tackles per game, again, matching up fairly well as like-for-like alternatives.
Yet, it must be underlined again that the chance of Reed muscling Phillips out of Bielsa’s starting XI is highly unlikely.
Whether they can sell themselves to Reed without the promise of a regular place in the side remains to be seen. And, on the flip side of that, whether Leeds are willing to pay what the 26-year-old is worth to Fulham, given he’d only be back-up, is another burning question.