Leeds transfer report suggests Elland Road favourite’s starting XI spot under threat – opinion

Leeds United have been linked with a move for Yoann Barbet after interest in the defender was reported by L’Equipe.

The Brentford defender would be available on a free this summer and his destination could be Elland Road.

What does he offer?

The Frenchman follows a long line of talented Brentford defenders in recent years. The likes of James Tarkowski, John Egan, Jack O’Connell and Chris Mepham have all plied their trade at Griffin Park and next season they will all likely be in the Premier League.

He is quite small for a centre back measuring 5 ft 10, meaning that his aerial presence isn’t quite what you might expect from a defender.

What he lacks in height he more than makes up for in skill though, with the 25-year-old being a fantastic ball-player and tackler which is something Bielsa likes to have in his defence.

The Brentford man can also play as a left-back, a skill which Leeds could do with at the moment with both Barry Douglas and Ezgjan Alioski out injured.

Who misses out?

Barbet’s arrival would mean that one of Leeds’ centre backs will have to drop to the bench to accommodate the new man.

It’s no coincidence that Barbet is a very different style of centre-back to Pontus Jansson. Bielsa could be looking to usher out the Swede after his recent performances have cost the Whites valuable points in the race for promotion.

The Frenchman is composed where the 6 ft 4 defender is reckless. The Leeds target can recycle possession whilst the 29-year-old tends to panic and hoof the ball forward.

Liam Cooper this season has grown to be the more valuable player in the centre-back pairing, and if the Yorkshire club do bring in defensive reinforcements that could mean Jansson slips down the pecking order.

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