Leeds United just about did enough to overcome Preston North End in Championship action on Sunday afternoon, a late Joel Piroe penalty the decisive goal in the game that saw the Whites’ relentless drive to not settle for a draw pay off.
Spraying David Cornell’s goal with 20 efforts on the day, Daniel Farke cut a relieved figure at full-time that his determined Leeds side continued their top form at Elland Road by picking up a last-gasp 2-1 victory.
Farke will hope Leeds can cruise to more straightforward victories this month away from this slight scare versus the Lilywhites, with this potential recruit enhancing the Whites going forward significantly.
Leeds close to signing former Championship star
A report from Football Insider in the last few days has indicated that Leeds are in ‘very advanced talks’ to land Burnley winger Manuel Benson on loan until the end of the season, beating fellow promotion rivals Southampton to his signature if all goes smoothly.
Russell Martin’s Saints, who currently occupy second spot in the Championship on goal difference, could lose out on a deal for the Belgian attacker despite originally having an offer accepted, according to Football Insider.
Starring in the second tier last season for Vincent Kompany’s Clarets on the way to a Championship title, Leeds will want to add Benson to their ranks to give the West Yorkshire titans a talent who knows how to get out of the division.
Moreover, with Benson’s audacious trickery on the ball and ability to thunderously hit a shot two standouts from his attacking arsenal, the wantaway forward could well displace Dan James on his arrival to Elland Road and complement Georginio Rutter’s equally skilful approach.
How Benson would fit into the Leeds team
Despite scoring the equalising goal last time out against Ryan Lowe’s tricky visitors, James could well find his starting spot for the Whites up for grabs if a deal can be reached for Benson.
Benson blows his counterpart out of the water when comparing the two slick wingers on FBRef, the Clarets star bettering James in the aspects you want your full-throttle winger option to exceed in.
The current Burnley man trumps the former Manchester United midfielder when it comes to shot-creating actions per 90 minutes over the last year, the 26-year-old Clarets winger coming in at a superior 5.64 to James’ lesser 3.46.
Moreover, Benson stands out when it comes to progressive passes received and progressive carries with an astounding 15.75 passes received and 10.50 successful carries contrasted with James’ 11.51 and 4.79 respectively.
The fringe Belgian attacker at Turf Moor almost feels readymade to slot into the Whites XI, perfect for the attacking football Farke insists his team play.
Rutter could well have a field day alongside his new teammate if Benson joins, the once scapegoated Frenchman a revelation in West Yorkshire this campaign – the 21-year-old now just one assist away from reaching double figures for the season and would relish the idea of playing alongside yet another “electric” attacker – as he was described by EFL pundit Sam Parkin.
Once a star man at Turf Moor before finding himself on the fringes this campaign – helping himself to 15 goal contributions last season in the second tier – Benson could take Leeds to the next level if all progresses without a hitch this transfer window.
Unfortunately, Benson coming in could signal the end of James in the Whites first team as Farke aims to assemble the strongest starting lineup capable of going toe-to-toe still with the top two in the Championship.