Date: 31st May 2022 at 10:12am
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Conor McGilligan has questioned whether the signing of Noa Lang from Belgian outfit Club Brugge would be able to fill the gaps left by Raphinha, should he depart this summer.

The Whites’ Brazilian winger has been linked with a move away from Elland Road for some time now, with Barcelona reportedly posing the most interest.

Raphinha has had an impressive season for Leeds, with 11 goals and three assists from the wing for a relegation-battling team. His stats would be hard to replace, however with Lang’s 19 goal contributions this season, he would likely give it a good attempt.

Speaking on One Leeds, Conor McGilligan had the following to say about Lang being touted as a potential replacement for Raphinha:

“I know Victor Orta likes him, but [a] system-based player – is he going to want to get an out-and-out winger?

“A direct replacement for Raphinha is something that, if Raphinha was to leave, I would want. Listen, bringing Noa Lang in anyway alongside Raphinha would be incredible.

“The quality he has on the ball… we were talking off-air the other day and I think Noa Lang is a little bit ahead of Leeds United now. He’s played Champions League football, you’d be expecting maybe a top-four, top-six club to move for him.”

Our thoughts on McGilligan’s comments…

No matter how optimistic one tries to be, it becomes more and more likely that Raphinha will leave as the days go on. Keeping hold of prized assets is often how teams must act in order to continue moving forward, however in this case it already seems a foregone conclusion.

That being said, moving for a man who McGilligan himself claims is “a little bit ahead of Leeds”, is definitely a step in the right direction towards finding an ample replacement, and the prospect of him even playing with the Brazilian is certainly mouthwatering.

Likened to Jadon Sancho by FBRef, Lang sits in the 98th percentile for progressive passes per 90, and in the 95th percentile for progressive carries per 90, compared to other wingers. His ability to force the ball up to the other end of the field could be useful for a Leeds side that struggled so much defensively this season.

Former Premier League striker Gabby Agbonlahor said at the start of the season Leeds should “go and get him”, claiming he is so different to what they already have.

With Arsenal also having registered interest over the season, Leeds will want to act quickly if they are seriously interested in the 22-year-old Dutchman.

Introducing a player of his calibre, already with Champions League pedigree, to the Whites’ line-up could help propel them away from the wrong end of the table, and hopefully, one day give them aspirations of returning Lang to Europe’s elite competition.

In other news, Leeds are linked with a teenage sensation. Find out who here.

 

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