Vieira Could Unearth ‘Amazing’ Guehi Clone For Leeds
Leeds United have a great history of academy production, with a steady stream of top talents having emerged in Yorkshire and gone onto big things. James Milner, Fabian Delph and Kalvin Phillips are just a few who spring to mind.
However, following their relegation, they will likely need to rely on their youth more than ever given the financial implications a stint in the Championship can have.
Fortunately for them, they have a few readymade stars who have already shown their quality at this level, suggesting they could well play a huge role in earning an instant return to the Premier League.
One such example is Charlie Cresswell, who enjoyed a fine spell at Millwall last term, in which the Lions narrowly missed out on a playoff spot. His domineering displays at the back suggest a bright future for the combative 20-year-old colossus, but he will need the right guidance to ensure his growth is measured and consistent.
Given Patrick Vieira remains one of the top targets for the managerial vacancy, he would arguably be the ideal man to lead the youngster forward and develop him into one of the country’s top defenders.
Who is Charlie Cresswell?
Having been at the Yorkshire outfit since 2013, the 6 foot 3 goliath has made just seven senior appearances for his boyhood club, suggesting a steady rise towards additional first-team opportunities.
However, after the year he has just enjoyed, that spot must now be a certainty.
Under the tutelage of Gary Rowett, the hulking centre-back would maintain a 7.13 average rating in which he would record 1.5 tackles and 3.1 clearances per game in the Championship, via Sofascore.
For comparison, were these figures put into Leeds’ squad from last term in the top flight, he would be their top performer by some distance, and boast their joint-third-most clearances.
It is no surprise that Rowett would therefore wax lyrical about his on-loan star, noting:
“He has really calmed down and matured in how he thinks about the game. He’s getting the benefit from it because he has got amazing attributes for a young centre-back – aggression and desire, sometimes you can’t find them as much nowadays. Honing them is easier than finding them in the first place.”
The justification for Vieira’s expertise in nurturing young talent is best shown through Marc Guehi, whose rise to prominence is largely owed to the vision of the former Arsenal legend.
He was the one who tempted the 22-year-old to Selhurst Park, only to forge him into one of England’s best young centre-backs.
Indeed, his 7.03 average Sofascore rating from the 2021/22 season serves to supplement this, as he went from Chelsea’s academy to an England international in just one year under his stewardship.
His 92% dribble success rate, 87% pass accuracy and 3.5 clearances per game that year (via Sofascore) are just a small window into what the future might hold for Cresswell, as he will seek to emulate this ball-playing titan.
The defender will be well aware of Guehi’s meteoric rise, and likely be hoping that Vieira is the chosen man to take over at his club.
Should he be hired, perhaps the Frenchman could sprinkle some more of his magic onto Leeds’ top youngster, allowing him to flourish further in the second division before hopefully taking the top flight by storm as Guehi has.