Date: 9th June 2022 at 11:36am
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Leeds United are reportedly interested in New York City FC forward Valentin Castellanos, potentially as a Raphinha replacement.

What’s the word?

That’s according to journalist Dean Jones, who had the following to say to GIVEMESPORT on Leeds’ reported interest:

“I think Castellanos is the one to look out for, they’ve definitely been offered him. They’re weighing it up at the moment.

“Again, it might not be a player that gets Leeds fans particularly excited, but he’s actually had a really good year in MLS.”

Could surpass Raphinha

With Raphinha reportedly looking to the Elland Road exit door, Jesse Marsch has clearly been searching for his replacement. He may well have found him in this free-scoring Argentine.

Castellanos has enjoyed a number of fine goalscoring seasons for his club now, this season boasting seven goals in 11 MLS games, and the season prior an impressive 19 goals in 32 games.

This kind of proficiency in front of goal is something that Leeds lacked last season, mainly due to the absence of their 2020/21 top goal scorer Patrick Bamford. The 23-year-old’s performances are not just reliant on goals, however, as he averages an impressive SofaScore rating of 7.43, higher than anyone in the Leeds squad.

Manager of the £10.8m-rated ace, Ronny Delia is also not short of praise for the marksman, labelling him “top-class”. Marsch could certainly do with some more class in his squad, especially if Raphinha is to leave, as Leeds only managed 42 league goals in 38 games this season.

At the age of 23, the youngster still has his entire career in front of him. Perhaps a move to the Whites could ensure his continued development, as he clearly possesses a lethal instinct that could make him a great Premier League player.

He sits in the 98th percentile for total shots and records 7.91 touches in the opponent’s penalty area per 90. This paints the picture of a forward willing to try his luck and constantly cause problems for defenders, which makes him seem even more threatening than Raphinha, who only ranked in the 78th percentile for total shots per 90.

Whilst it will be tough to replace the Brazilian’s 11 league goals last season, the signing of this other South American with an eye for goal could go a long way towards replacing him, and would likely cost considerably less than what Leeds would receive for Raphinha.

In other news, Marsch could already have a big Ayling upgrade at Leeds in “phenomenal” 20 y/o gem.

 

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