L’Equipe claim that Leeds United are among a host of clubs interested in signing Paris Saint-Germain youngster Thierno Balde.
The teenager is highly regarded by the French giants, and has been a key player for PSG’s youth team in the UEFA Youth League this term.
But the 17-year-old – able to play at right-back or in central defence – currently faces an uncertain future at the Parc des Princes with his contract set to run out next month.
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Marcelo Bielsa is likely to strengthen his squad ahead of a potential return to the Premier League this summer, but Balde would be a signing for the future and one to watch for the long-term.
Here, we discuss if his arrival is needed at Elland Road…
This could be a really good signing for Leeds if they get a deal over the line for Balde.
He’s clearly a player that PSG rate highly if they’ve offered him a new deal with the club, but I think Leeds are making the right call in targeting him ahead of the summer transfer window.
The prospect of working for Marcelo Bielsa will be tempting for any player, and he could thrive under the Argentine’s management.
At the age of 17 though, it seems highly unlikely that he’ll be anywhere near the first-team picture anytime soon, and he’ll have to remain patient for his chance in the senior squad.
It’s good to see Leeds looking towards the future when it comes to signing players, as it shows there is a long-term vision in place at Elland Road.
Natural excitement will grow with this one.
Balde isn’t a player for the now but if Leeds can get him in and bring him through there will be hope he can be a real star.
Bielsa and his ability to bring through youth and improve them greatly has been heralded for years and he’s shown he’s still got the Midas touch at Leeds.
Indeed, the club is committed to signing players for both now and the future and it looks as though Balde would fit the bill, latterly speaking.
For me, I could see him being one for the future without doubt, it has all the hallmarks of a successful Bielsa ploy.
Balde looks to be a really exciting prospect and it would be a real coup to lure him to Elland Road as he’s highly regarded at PSG, it seems.
The club have plenty of talented up and coming defenders coming through the ranks, such as Pascal Struijk and Oliver Casey who have both impressed under Bielsa, but there is no harm in bringing in a talent like Balde effectively for free.
Bielsa is a manager who loves to develop young players, and playing under a manager like him could be beneficial for Balde.
It should be comforting for Leeds fans to know that the club have a long-term vision for the future, which is something that cannot be said for previous years under different ownership.
I really like the sound of this move from the Whites and it is one that should excite the Elland Road faithful – as it is evidence how far ahead the club are looking.
The 17-year-old is still young and quite raw but he looks a defender with a bright future ahead of him.
With that in mind, snapping him up as a free agent looks a fantastic bit of business and a signing that we may see the dividends of in years to come.
As with all young players, patience will be the key with Balde if Leeds can convince him that Elland Road is the right place for him moving forward.
We’ve seen Bielsa put faith in youth, so the teenager might not be too far away from getting a chance to impress.