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 manager Marcelo Bielsa is looking to strengthen his squad ahead of the new Championship season, with the Whites considering a move for Burnley defender Ben Gibson, according to a report in the Northern Echo.
Gibson has only been at Turf Moor for a year, after arriving from Middlesbrough in the summer of 2018, but his stay could be coming to an end with a number of others clubs also interested in the 26-year-old.
So with Leeds United keen, would he be a good signing for Bielsa’s men? Would he fit in at Elland Road?
“Gibson has had a year to forget but this would be a fantastic signing by Leeds.
“In selling Jansson Leeds not only lost a great defender but a key figure of the team who was a huge presence for them on and off the field, and with him in the team Leeds have a certain air of authority.
“Gibson would replace all of those aspects. He is hugely respected in the game, and for good reason. He was brilliant for Boro on a consistent basis and was vital in their promotion campaign, and did well in the Premier League too.
“He is still relatively young but has experience too, and if he can overcome his injury issues he will be a valuable asset to Leeds. He will lead the defence and have a positive impact on the dressing room, and his signing would send out a statement to the rest of the division.”
“Absolutely, but I think it will be a struggle to bring him in.
“No replacement has yet been brought in for Pontus Jansson and Leeds appear a defender short.
“Things never really got going in Gibson’s debut season at Turf Moor, where he made just five appearances, but he was solid and reliable at Middlesbrough and would slot in well next to Liam Cooper.
“It appears Marcelo Bielsa is keen on using Ben White as a replacement for Pontus Jansson but his lack of experience worries me and I think it is a dangerous move to risk promotion hopes on whether he is able to step up.
“Given that Gibson arrived at Burnley for £15 million last season and is on a reported salary of £40,000, there may be some financial stumbling blocks for the Whites, especially with the Premier League competition they face.”
“This’d be the perfect Jansson replacement.
“Gibson hasn’t made the impact he would have hoped for at Burnley, and I would be surprised if he remained at Turf Moor when the new season gets underway.
“He has experience of playing in the Championship, and was an important player for Middlesbrough earlier in his career.
“His leadership qualities would also come in handy to the Leeds team, who lacked experience and leaders in their team last season.
“The only potential issue I see with this deal is the asking price that Burnley are going to ask from clubs to land his signature.
“Leeds clearly don’t have a significant amount of funds available this summer, so they won’t be throwing money around to sign him.
“They’ll have their own valuation of him, and I’d be surprised if they signed him from Burnley.”