Leeds United are weighing up a bargain swoop for Ajax right-back Noussair Mazraoui.
After joining Ajax as a nine-year-old kid in 2006, Noussair Mazraoui, 23, progressed through the ranks at the club before breaking into the first team during the 2017/18 campaign. The following year turned out to be his breakthrough campaign at the Eredivisie club, where he made 48 appearances across all competitions.
The Moroccan international has suffered from injury problems in recent years, limiting him to only 46 games across the last two seasons. However, Mazraoui has started the new Eredivisie season in breathtaking form with four goals and two assists in eight appearances to date. He has also supplied an assist in the Champions League.
The 23-year-old right-back is into the final year of his contract, meaning Leeds United would be able to negotiate with him in the January transfer window ahead of a summer move as a free agent. On the other hand, with Mazraoui linked with the likes of Arsenal and AS Roma, the Whites could discuss a cut-price January transfer.
Leeds United must make a few additions in the winter window
After enjoying a brilliant return to the Premier League last year, Leeds United have struggled this season and lie just two places above the relegation zone. The Yorkshire giants have managed to buy just one win in their seven games, which came at the expense of newly-promoted Watford before the international break.
Marcelo Bielsa strengthened his squad with a few signings over the summer transfer window but if he is to fire Leeds to another top-half finish in the top flight, the club must definitely bring in a couple of new players in January.
The Whites want to recruit a new right-back
The Yorkshire club are looking at options to bolster the right-back position with Luke Ayling the only recognised right-back in the squad.
Ayling, 30, has proven to be a key player for Leeds under Marcelo Bielsa, offering great energy, tactical versatility and solid work ethic to the squad. However, the Englishman, who is currently out injured, turned 30 in August.
While Stuart Dallas and Jamie Shackleton have deputised well at right-back on several occasions, the lack of proper back-up to Ayling and his age means Leeds are targeting a new right-back in the upcoming windows.
Noussair Mazraoui could be a bargain buy for Leeds United
Having conceded 14 goals in just seven games, Leeds will certainly need to find an answer to their woes at back. The defence is an area where some investment is needed, thereby, making Ajax’s Noussair Mazraoui an ideal fit at Elland Road.
The highly-rated Mazraoui seems to have put his injury woes behind him and is performing at the best of his abilities at Ajax this term. At 23, he has considerable experience at the highest level having made 113 appearances for the Eredivisie giants and earned 12 caps for Morocco. He has a long career ahead of him and is only going to get better with time, age and experience.
There have been obvious signs to suggest Mazraoui has got the potential to make a name for himself in a more competitive league than the Eredivisie. That being said, Leeds completing a raid on Ajax for their Moroccan right-back next year could be an astute piece of business and one that might pay off handsomely for their long-term plans moving forward under Marcelo Bielsa.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.