If you think little things like “money” and “pandemics” and “football shutting down for three months” are going to stop the rumor mill from grinding out new stories, hoo buddy, let me explain a few things to you. Here’s the latest, straight from the wilds of the Argentine sports radio market.
According to Argentine sports journalist Nicolas Bozza in La Plata, 22-year old center back Juan Foyth may be on the move if and when the transfer window actually opens back up this summer. And — get this — he says he’s likely going to end up at Leeds United on a season-long loan.
ATENCIÓN! El ex futbolista de #EDLP @JuanMFoyth será refuerzo de #LeedsUnited. El central de la Selección Argentina jugará en el equipo de Bielsa. @SpursOficiall lo cede a préstamo x una temporada. pic.twitter.com/9YhEg0sLpi— Nicolás Bozza (@Nicobozza) June 10, 2020
So, a couple of things to unpack here. No, Leeds haven’t clinched promotion to the Premier League quite yet. However, while they’re still in a dogfight with West Brom for the Championship title, they’re still a healthy seven points above third place Fulham with nine games to play. Anything can happen, but it would take a pretty catastrophic collapse for Leeds to drop into the playoff zone and out of the automatic qualification spots. Odds are good that we’ll see them go up.
Foyth saw his best play come under Mauricio Pochettino, who had a lot of faith in him and was willing to let him make youthful mistakes in the name of gaining experience. Jose Mourinho? Not so much. Foyth pretty quickly fell down the pecking order once Mou took charge. That’s why a move to Leeds would make so much sense. Marcelo Bielsa is basically Pochettino Classic — he’s the coaching mentor of Poch, and their styles are pretty similar. Bielsa is known for employing tactics that can be a bit, well, insane, and Foyth’s skill set as a center back who’s good at dribbling and taking on players with the ball at his feet while in the box would seem to fit pretty well under Bielsa.
If Mourinho’s keen on dumping Foyth, this could be the first step. If, however, Foyth could play his way back into Mourinho’s plans with a year of Premier League experience under his belt, then Leeds is an almost ideal place for him to go. Leeds are losing Ben White, who was on loan this past season, and are letting right back Gaetano Berardi go after his contract expired. He could find his way in the starting lineup from the get go.
The source is... well, yeah. You know what I’m going to say here. But it’s definitely a plausible rumor, considering Leeds need defenders and Mourinho’s ready to cut bait. This is a story that’s worth tracking, and if he does end up at the Damned United under Bielsa, I’ll be very interested to see how he does there.