Leeds United have been dealt a potential setback in their bid to bring Fabiano Parisi to Elland Road in the January transfer window.
What’s the talk?
That’s according to Italian media outlet L’Interista, who claim that, with Robin Gosens looking set to leave Inter Milan this winter, the Nerazzurri are lining up a number of potential replacements for the 28-year-old, with the Empoli left-back thought to be one of the names on Giuseppe Marotta’s shortlist of targets.
This is sure to come as a blow to Victor Orta and the Whites, as Leeds are reported to be long-term admirers of the 22-year-old, with the Spanish director of football once again believed to be keen on a move for the Italy international – whom Emploi are thought to value at around €25m (£21.5m) – in January.
The next Robertson
With Parisi having already earned comparisons to Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson due to his ‘tireless running‘ and ‘vicious crosses’ into the box, it is not difficult to understand why Orta would be keen on a deal to bring the youngster to Elland Road this winter – especially considering Jesse Marsch’s struggles in the position since his arrival at the club earlier this year.
Indeed, Parisi has been one of Empoli’s brightest sparks over his 14 Serie A appearances so far this season, with the £15m-rated talent having scored two goals and created one big chance, as well as making an average of one key pass, taking 0.9 shots and completing 0.6 crosses per game.
The £3.2k-per-week full-back has also caught the eye in metrics more typical of his position, helping his side keep five clean sheets, in addition to making an average of 2.3 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 2.3 clearances and winning 6.6 duels – at a success rate of 60% – per game.
These returns have seen the player who Alvaro Canibe dubbed both “masterful” and “incredible” average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.98, currently ranking him as Paolo Zanetti’s third-best performer in the top flight of Italian football.
Furthermore, according to FBref, the 22-year-old also ranks in the top 16% of full-backs in Europe’s big five leagues for non-penalty goals per 90, as well as the top 9% for non-penalty xG, the top 17% for shots, the top 4% for dribbles completed, the top 8% for blocks, the top 17% for clearances, the top 27% for tackles and the top 28% for interceptions over the last 12 months.
And, with Stuart Dallas remaining sidelined as a result of a fractured femur, in addition to Junior Firpo having struggled with both injuries and form since his £13m move to Elland Road last summer, it is evident that Marsch is in need of greater depth on the left of his back line heading into the second half of the Premier League campaign.
As such, it would indeed appear highly advisable for Orta to sanction a £21.5m move for Parisi this winter, as the Italian sensation not only appears to possess the ability to instantly become Leeds’ first choice in the position going forwards, but he could also prove to be the top flight’s next Robertson-esque left-footed flanker – something that will be an exciting prospect for the Whites.
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