Leeds United have done a sterling job in bringing on Jack Harrison, their Manchester City loanee. That loan will have done wonders for the Whites reputation with the powers that be at the Etihad Stadium. That respect from Pep Guardiola for Marcelo Bielsa will have been amplified as such. Last week came news, via Phil Hay’s Athletic ‘postbag’ Q&A article, that the Whites were after another Citizens starlet.
That starlet, Yan Couto, is a starlet yet to officially arrive at the Premier League giants. The Coritiba youngster is a player bought by Manchester City but one who is yet to arrive in England. His transfer from Brazil is due to go through this summer.
In answering the postbag question that he was posed, about Leeds United plans for the Premier League, Hay says: “Manchester City’s Yan Couto, a right-sided Brazilian, is a player I’ve heard them strongly linked with. Keep an eye on that one.”
Couto is a 25-cap Brazil Under17 international with big things expected of him. His potential has always been there and has always been noticeable. It is potential that is such that he made The Guardian’s ‘Next Generation 2019’, a feature ranking the best 60 young football talents in the world.
Manchester City was convinced enough to lay out £5million and a five-year deal for the young Brazilian who hadn’t broken into Coritiba’s first-team set-up and who only has two appearances at state level to go alongside his Brazil youth caps.
Overview – is it realistic to expect a Couto loan?
Look, first of all, Marcelo Bielsa knows what he is doing – that’s why Manchester City trust him. He is one of world football’s foremost technicians and knows just what is needed to bring a football on, to develop him.
Is there development needed in Yan Couto? Of course, there is! Despite his potential, he is still only 17 years old. Bielsa would be able to unlock that potential, bring his game on.
The question is, though, how and under what circumstances? Leeds United, heaven forbid, not gaining promotion might have been an option. Unleashing Couto on a startled Championship. However, that wouldn’t be under Bielsa who is unlikely to stay for a third Championship campaign.
Promotion to the Premier League brings different issues. Will Leeds United be willing to risk all on him as a full-time right-back? That’d be highly unlikely given Bielsa’s policy of player loyalty and the fact that Luke Ayling will likely play there in a Premier League campaign.
When it comes down to it, it just depends what plans Leeds United have and what Manchester City are prepared to accept.
ONLY in the Championship.
Back-up option for Premier League.
Hard to say.
Another Brazilian show pony?