With Leeds defender Charlie Taylor reportedly attracting Premier League attention, Football Whispers consider whether he could step up...
Leeds United full-back Charlie Taylor is in demand and the Premier League looks to be his likely destination.
The 23-year-old has been a standout performer for an ever-changing Leeds side for well over 18 months.
He has carried on his impressive form and has been a key cog this season as Garry Monk has guided the Yorkshire outfit up the Championship table and into 6th as play paused for the international break.
Leeds had lost Sam Byram and Lewis Cook in previous windows and Taylor appeared to be set to leave in August but the club rejected his transfer request. The club released a statement at the start of August which should have put any potential suitors off.
However, West Ham were undeterred. HITC Sport reported the Hammers had a £7m bid rejected for Taylor as they looked to find a replacement for the injured Aaron Cresswell. A month prior to this, a report in The Sun had stated that Burnley, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United and West Brom had been advised that a bid of £4m would secure the left-back's services.
As the summer transfer window crept into its final week, the Daily Star reported Liverpool had moved to the front of the queue and were readying a £7m bid. The same news outlet reported in January 2016 that Manchester United were interested in the full-back. Clubs have been courting him for a long time.
Taylor's playing profile is what makes him such an attractive proposition for the Premier League clubs mentioned. His intelligent positioning, timing of the tackle, explosive acceleration and dangerous delivery are all transferable from the Championship to the Premier League.
He's versatile and can play anywhere down the left side with former Leeds manager Neil Redfearn using him as a left-sided attacking midfielder at times.
Taylor excels when defending one on one. Since 2014/15, Taylor has averaged 1.7 tackles per 90 minutes and the opposition only manage 0.4 successful dribbles past the Leeds full-back each game.
But it's his interception numbers that really highlight his intelligent positioning. He's averaged 2.5 interceptions over the same time period.
He's also good in the air for a full-back and wins 1.6 aerial duels every match. He attempts 41.7 passes per 90 minutes and has a pass completion success rate of 75.9 per cent.
Using Football Whispers' transfer-rumour algorithm, we take a look at the three teams Taylor is being linked with, how he would fit into their squads and how he compares to their left-backs.
Bournemouth spent £6m on Liverpool left-back Brad Smith in the summer but the Australian has yet to make his Premier League debut for the club. He's been unable to edge Charlie Daniels out of the first team and the Daily Star are linking Bournemouth with a move for Taylor.
The 30-year-old former Spurs full-back has been one of Bournemouth's standout performers since their promotion to the Premier League. In his 18 months in England's top division he averages 1.8 interceptions and 1.9 tackles per 90 minutes. He wins one aerial duel and completes 82 per cent of the 44 passes he attempts. On average the opposition dribble past him 1.1 times per 90 minutes.
The chances of a Taylor move to Bournemouth is currently a 2.3 on the Football Whispers Transfers Index rating, the highest it's been since the middle of August.
The Mirror report Leicester City have had scouts at various Leeds matches to monitor the progress of Taylor. The current incumbent of the left-back role at Premier League champions Leicester is Christian Fuchs. The 30-year-old Austrian has been a revelation in England since signing from Schalke and was a key cog as Claudio Ranieri's men defied the odds to win the league last season.
In his 18 months in the Premier League Fuchs, on average, completes 73 per cent of the 40 passes he attempts per 90 minutes. He also wins 2.1 aerial duels, 2.8 tackles, makes 2.6 interceptions and Fuchs is dribbled past 1.3 times per 90 minutes.
The Football Whispers Transfer Index currently has this particular link rated as a 2.1, which is surprising given Leicester are also able to call upon highly sought-after left-back Ben Chilwell, who only recently signed a new deal with the club despite reported interest from Arsenal and Liverpool.
In October The Telegraph reported that West Brom were ready to reignite their summer interest in Taylor and offer as much as £4m for the full-back.
Football Whispers has this potential move rated as a 1.9 on their transfer index. West Brom are currently having to use a right-back in the left-back role. Allan Nyom joined the Baggies from Watford in the summer and has appeared in seven of the 11 Premier League games this season but it is believed manager Tony Pulis wants a more long-term solution there.
Nyom wins 0.9 aerial duels, surprisingly on the low side for a Pulis defender, and completes 60.9 per cent of the 20.7 passes he attempts. He wins 1.3 tackles, makes two interceptions per 90 minutes and the opposition dribble past him 0.9 times per match.
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