This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Leeds United’s return to the Premier League was always going to bring with it a host of transfer speculation but the latest rumour may be their most ambitious yet.
Football Insider have reported that Rangers left-back Barisic is high on their list of desired new arrivals this summer after he impressed under Steven Gerrard at Ibrox last season, following his move from NK Osijek two years ago.
Quiz: Can you remember the score from each of these 12 Leeds United matches from the 2019/20 season?
Last season saw the 27-year-old assist 14 goals in 39 appearances across all competitions last term for the blue half of Glasgow.
In the Whites’ Championship winning season Dallas scored five goals and assisted three more in 45 appearances, whilst Barry Douglas, the other Leeds option in the role, made no direct contributions in 15 games.
So, would he be a good signing for Bielsa’s side?
“This looks a good solution. It’s evident that Leeds need to strengthen in the left-back position as Premier League football looms, with make-shift left-back Stuart Dallas being utilised primarily in that role.
“There are question marks over Alioski and Douglas’ role at Leeds in that position, so signing an experienced, reliable head like Barisic makes sense on the face of it.
“The 27-year-old is adept both in an attacking and defending sense, and has showcased just how effective he can be when it comes to chance creations for Rangers last season.
“Barisic contributed 14 assists for Gerrard’s side last season which is some going for a defender, and Bielsa will like the strong work rate that the Croatian shows on a regular basis.
“The step up from the SPFL to the Premier League is, of course, a sizeable jump, but you’d feel Barisic has enough experience in his locker to make the transition.”
“This would be an excellent signing and you feel that Barisic could finally solve Leeds’ ongoing woe at left-back.
“Ezgjan Alioski and Barry Douglas have attributes to admire, but Stuart Dallas has been the most regular feature on the left of Bielsa’s defence.
“He did well, but he is right-footed and the side isn’t balanced enough for Bielsa’s liking.
“Barisic offers that natural balance for Leeds and his ability to get forward would suit Bielsa’s style of play.
“Rangers to Leeds is a step up in standard given the quality of the Premier League, but this is an international footballer we are talking about and you’ve got to imagine he could make the transition.
“It looks a top signing.”
“This is a smart move.
“Barisic has impressed me with Rangers, and you would imagine that he could be tempted by a move to Leeds United, who are preparing for life in the Premier League.
“They certainly need to add strength in depth to their options in defence, and signing Barisic would certainly do this.
“He’s made a positive impact at both ends of the pitch whilst with Rangers, but he could be eyeing a fresh challenge, with Leeds presenting him with an opportunity to do just that.
“Marcelo Bielsa’s side need a recognised option at left-back, and if they can strike an agreement with Rangers to sign Barisic, then I think he could prove to be a shrewd addition this summer.
“He’s exactly the type of player that would suit Bielsa’s high-pressing style of play.”