Hayden Roberts has caught the eye of Leeds United, with the Brighton and Hove Albion prospect seemingly seen as someone the Whites want to lure to Elland Road.
Leeds are on the lookout to strengthen their squad ahead of a return to the Premier League in 2020/21, with centre-back clearly a position that needs strengthening.
Currently, Liam Cooper is the club’s only recognised centre-back signed up for the new season, with Ben White returning to Brighton after an impressive loan spell and Gaetano Berardi out of contract and sidelined for nine months with an ACL injury.
Quiz: Do you remember which club Leeds United signed these 15 players from?
A report from The Athletic has confirmed that Leeds do hold an interest in Roberts, though, with the young centre-back behind a queue of impressive option available at Brighton.
The 18-year-old has managed only one senior appearance for Brighton so far, which came in the 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa in the EFL Cup in September 2019. The centre-back did score Brighton’s goal in that game, but Jota, Conor Hourihane and Jack Grealish did the damage for Villa.
Whilst Roberts hasn’t picked up the first-team minutes he might have wanted, he has been involved in senior training sessions, but is met by strong competition in terms of centre-backs.
Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster, Shane Duffy, Dan Burn and Matt Clarke are all on the books, whilst Graham Potter is now welcoming White back into the fold after his title-winning exploits at Elland Road.
It’s certainly a position that Leeds United need to strengthen this season, with White’s return to Brighton and Berardi’s injury leaving Marcelo Bielsa’s side way short ahead of a return to the Premier League.
Whilst Roberts is a great prospect, it is hard to imagine he’d be coming into Bielsa’s side as a direct replacement for White, despite the obvious similarities. Bielsa needs a senior centre-back to pair with Cooper, who will lead the club into the Premier League.
Elland Road would surely appeal to the centre-back given their work with White, plus with a sea of competition at Brighton, a move will heighten his first-team minutes.
Thoughts? Let us know!