Despite automatic promotion currently looking out of reach for Leeds United, it has largely been a promising start to the campaign for new boss Daniel Farke and his charges, with the German reaping the rewards of his mass squad overhaul during the summer window.
With 15 first-team assets heading out the door and a further nine players arriving at Elland Road, the fresh look to the current squad has paid off so far, with it likely to be the case that further new additions will be sought out in the New Year.
Leeds transfer news
As per a report from TEAMtalk earlier this week, the Yorkshire giants are believed to be among the clubs who are showing an interest in Fluminense sensation, Jhon Arias, with the 26-year-old potentially set to be available in January.
While much has been made of the Premier League interest in the forward’s teammate, Andre – with the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal both sniffing around – Arias himself has also caught the attention of a host of clubs across Britain.
As such, if Leeds are to win the race for his signature they will have to fend off rival interest from the likes of Crystal Palace, West Ham United, Burnley, Leicester City and Rangers, among others, with all those sides having scouted the Colombian star of late.
If a deal for the ten-cap international – who is valued at €20m (£17m) by CIES Football Observatory – was to come to fruition, Farke and co could potentially get their hands on a talent akin to a player currently thriving in the Championship, in the form of ex-Whites starlet, Jack Clarke.
How John Arias compares to Jack Clarke
Hailed as a player who is both “influential and always decisive“, in the words of ESPN’s Fernando Campos, Arias has been in sparkling form on the flanks in recent times, having provided nine goals and a further 13 assists in 53 games in all competitions in the current campaign in Brazil.
Arguably “one of the best players in the country” over the past year or so – according to Campos – the 5 foot 6 machine has now racked up 56 goal involvements in just 135 games in all competitions for his current side since joining in 2021, highlighting the attacking weapon that Farke could be able to wield in the second half of the season.
Interestingly, Arias’ form of late has also ensured that he is comparable to the aforementioned Clarke, as per FBref, with the pair said to share a number of statistical and stylistic similarities on the flanks.
The pair are notably alike with regard to their ability to beat a man on the wing and drive forward with the ball with ease, with the Fluminese ace ranking in the top 5% among his peers in comparative leagues for successful take-ons per 90, as well as in the top 8% for progressive carries per 90.
Clarke, similarly, ranks in the top 14% and the top 2% for those same two metrics, respectively, with the pair also alike due to their work rate of the ball, as the former Leeds man ranks in the top 16% for tackles made per 90, while his more experienced counterpart ranks in the top 14% in that regard.
Such a comparison is of note as Clarke is currently shining for the Black Cats in the second tier with nine goals and one assist in 15 league games this season, after previously registering 21 goal involvements during the 2022/23 campaign in the Championship.
The 22-year-old had initially begun life on the books at Elland Road prior to joining Tottenham Hotspur on a £10m deal, although has since gone on to prove his talents elsewhere at the Stadium of Light.
As such, with the Englishman having illustrated his ability to thrive in the Championship, it bodes well for the impact that Arias could potentially also make, were he to sign on the dotted line in the winter.