KEY POINTS

  • New Premier League team Leeds United has been linked to Argentine youngsters Thiago Almada and Nicolas Gonzalez
  • Almada has been earning comparisons to Lionel Messi and is also reportedly a target of Arsenal and Barcelona
  • Leeds is reportedly looking to take advantage of Gonzalez's situation as he has been eager to leave his current club

Argentine youngsters Thiago Almada, who has been tagged as the "new Lionel Messi," and highly-rated goal scorer Nicolas Gonzalez are being targeted by newly qualified Premier League club Leeds United ahead of its comeback season, a report said.

After successfully dominating the Championship league, Leeds is now officially making its Premier League return. Following a huge celebration, the Whites have turned their attention to equipping their squad with young talents.

In preparation for its comeback season with the English top-flight, Leeds is reportedly exploring the Argentine market in search of an additional boost to its attacking force.

According to Ole (via HITC.com), Stuttgart’s Gonzalez and Velez Sarsfield’s Almada emerged as early targets for the Premier League newcomers.

Almada is one of the top prospects across Europe’s top five leagues and has earned comparisons to Messi. According to  Mundo Deportivo, the fleet-footed playmaker is now a £20 million ($25 million) prospect of Arsenal and Barcelona.

Prior to this, both Manchester teams were also linked to Almada. Manchester United was reportedly eager to pursue the “new Messi,” but sources claimed that Almada was likely to snub the interest because he wants to follow the footsteps of his idol, Carlos Tevez, at Manchester City.

However, according to Almada’s former youth coach, Eduardo Hernandez, the Argentine youngster is even better than Tevez, especially in dribbling.

“Almada is much more technical (than Carlos Tevez). Carlitos always stood out for his delivery and his desire. But with the ball, Thiago is better,” Hernandez told Clarin.

Lionel Messi almost scored a breathtaking goal but Barcelona were held to a frustrating draw by Slavia Prague Lionel Messi Photo: AFP / LLUIS GENE

Gonzalez, on the other hand, has been vocal about his desire to leave his current club. The lethal scorer has scored an impressive 15 goals in 29 games for German side Stuttgart. He has played a huge role in the club’s promotion to the Bundesliga in 2019/20 season.

It didn’t take long for Leeds to notice Gonzalez’s fine form as it reportedly looks to capitalize on his situation. According to Gonzalez, though he has had a great time with Stuttgart, he has already made up his mind and is ready to enter a new chapter in his career.

“I had a wonderful time in Germany, but now I’ve made up my mind: I need a change of scene. I want to leave Stuttgart. I’ve already spoken to the club and I’m ready for a new chapter in my career,” Gonzalez recently told Tuttomercatoweb.

Aside from Almada and Gonzalez, Leeds has also been monitoring notable prospects Adolfo Gaich, Matias Zaracho and Lucas Martinez Quarta.