Leeds United have reportedly made an enquiry for one of the World Cup‘s heroes…
What’s the word?
According to La Gazzetta Express, the Whites have asked about signing Sampdoria midfielder Abdelhamid Sabiri, who is currently starring for Morocco on their way to the quarter-finals in Qatar.
It’s believed that they want to sign him in January but face competition from Olympique Lyonnais, Real Betis and Sevilla. The Serie A side may be forced to sell him due to their financial situation, whilst any exit could take the form of a loan-to-buy agreement.
It remains to be seen how much the 26-year-old would command, with CIES Football Observatory valuing him at just €10m (£8.5m).
World Cup hero
Some may vaguely recognise Sabiri’s name as he once played for Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town and whilst he didn’t exactly make his mark in England, he did have one particularly glowing game against Leicester City, where he terrorised Harry Maguire and co.
Fast forward some five years and now Sabiri is one of the surprise names lighting it up on the world’s biggest stage.
Not only did he bag a goal against one of the tournament favourites in Belgium but he has also slotted home a penalty to see Morocco past another titan in Spain to set up a quarter-final tie with Portugal.
Both of his appearances against the two European giants saw the former Terriers flop earn Sofascore ratings of 7.0 or better, building on from the Serie A’s official Twitter feed lauding his ability to “produce wondrous moments.”
Sabiri has also been described as a “great talent” by his former youth coach Daniel Meisinger in the past and the creative no.10 could be exactly that for Leeds as when compared to his positional peers across Europe’s elite divisions, he ranks very favourably.
Indeed, the Sampdoria star sits within the top 5% for shots, the top 10% for goals and the top 15% for expected assists per 90 over the last year, via FBref.
Given his estimated worth, director of football Victor Orta could well discover quite the bargain in Sabiri this winter.