Leeds United are one of several clubs keen to strike a deal to sign an exciting young defender in January, according to a fresh update this week.
Leeds could lose three centre-backs in 2024
The Whites have Pascal Struijk, Liam Cooper, Charlie Cresswell and Joe Rodon as their natural options at centre-back as it stands, but there’s a chance that three of those could be departing at some stage next year if rumours are to be believed.
Having only put pen to paper on a season-long loan, Rodon is set to return to Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the season anyway, whilst Struijk has been backed to follow him by joining Ange Postecoglou’s side, alongside Cresswell who has only made one league start so far this campaign (WhoScored – Cresswell statistics).
Daniel Farke will therefore be forced to enter the market to find replacements should any or all of the trio depart, and it appears that he’s already set his sights on Hammarby’s Nathaniel Adjei, who has so far made 30 senior appearances at The Stockholmsarenan (Transfermarkt – Adjei statistics).
The Ghana international has already been the subject of interest from Scottish Premiership teams Celtic and Glasgow Rangers, alongside Championship rivals Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Preston North End, but the 21-year-old now has a sixth admirer at Elland Road.
Leeds plotting swoop for Nathaniel Adjei
According to Fotboll Direkt (via Leeds United News), Leeds are considering a move for Adjei. The Yorkshire outfit are “among a host of clubs interested” in securing the services of the defender, and it’s claimed that Hammarby are looking to receive approximately £3.5m in order to sanction the sale of their prized asset.
Farke’s target will complete his current season this coming weekend, and with the new term not set to start until the new year, this break in domestic action is why potential suitors are looking to capitalise on a deal.
According to Hammarby’s former manager Marti Cifuentes, Adjei possesses all of the qualities to become a “top-notch” centre-back, and with the bags of potential that he’s got to offer, it’s easy to understand why there are so many clubs chasing his signature ahead of January.
Standing at 6 foot 1, Teshie’s native provides an excellent physical presence with his height at the heart of his backline, and he also has the versatility to operate as a right-back alongside his usual position. This ability to provide cover in another role outside of his own would make him a very useful option for the boss to have in the building should any unexpected injuries occur – as has often been the case in the Leeds defence in recent years – or should he ever want to alter his formation or team selection.
With Adjei not yet having loads of senior experience under his belt, it’s unknown whether Farke would feel comfortable throwing him straight in at the deep end, but he’d certainly be an exciting signing for the long-term future of the team in LS11.