Fulham look set to face a battle to keep hold of Harrison Reed this summer, with Leeds United interest lingering in the midfielder.
Leeds are claimed to have an interest in Reed, with the Daily Mail stating that they’ve been tracking the 26-year-old and like what they see.
Reed, 26, has impressed over the last two seasons, helping Fulham to promotion in 2019/20 and then proving to be a consistent figure in Scott Parker’s midfield in the Premier League, despite relegation back into the Championship.
Links to Leeds are interesting after Marcelo Bielsa led them to ninth in the Premier League last season. There’s a desire at Elland Road to evolve the squad and make it more competitive, as they look to build towards a long-term stay in the top-flight.
Yet, for Reed, there’s a lot to weigh up.
We take a look at a couple of obstacles the midfielder would face were he to arrive at Elland Road:
Reed has looked really good for Fulham over the last two seasons, shielding the back four and proving to be a really reliable holding midfielder.
At Leeds, though, Bielsa favours Kalvin Phillips in the holding midfield role, with the 25-year-old now an England international and heading to Euro 2020.
Phillips has been the true success story of Leeds’ three years under Bielsa, developing into one of English football’s standout holding midfielders.
Bielsa rates Phillips so highly. When he’s fit and available, he plays. He doesn’t have direct competition, which Reed would provide, but the chances of the Fulham midfielder ousting the Leeds-born ace is highly unlikely.
Leeds want cover for Phillips and links to Reed make sense, but getting games at Elland Road isn’t going to be easy at all for the 26-year-old.
Added defensive responsibility
Reed is a top defensive midfielder and shares similar traits to Phillips. You do, though, question whether or not the Fulham man can handle the defensive responsibilities Bielsa places on his holding midfielder.
Phillips is often left playing the role of Leeds’ ‘third centre-back’, allowing Bielsa’s full-backs to bomb forwards.
The robustness of Phillips’ game means that he is a real presence in defending those big spaces. It isn’t that Reed can’t do the same job, you just feel like it may be more difficult for him to take on the defensive pressure Leeds’ style puts on the holding midfielder.
If he arrives, it will be interesting to see how a player that looks a like-for-like replacement for Phillips handles the responsibility placed on him by Bielsa.