Struggling Yorkshire institution Leeds United may be sitting just outside the bottom three in the Premier League but club director of football Victor Orta and manager Jesse Marsch are beginning to oversee somewhat of a youth revolution at Elland Road this season, which may receive further reinforcements during the current January window.
According to Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg, the Whites are entering the final stages of securing a deal for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s French U21 international striker Georginio Rutter in a deal that could go as high as €40m (~£35m).
The 20-year-old Paris-born Rutter comes with considerable praise and a high ceiling after initially climbing through the youth ranks in France, most notably with Stade Rennais, before his eventual move to Sinsheim in February of 2021, ultimately going on to having a breakout season during the 2021-22 Bundesliga season that saw him hit 8 league goals for Die Kraichgauer along the way.
Though his direct return is hardly the most notable out there, the underlying metrics surrounding Rutter’s profile show similarities with summer signing Wilfried Gnonto both in their strengths but also their developmental ceilings, with Gnonto already proving a smart piece of business after working his way into Marsch’s preferred XI on the back of influential performances on the flank.
Rutter’s 0.45 goals/90min was in the top 15 of all Bundesliga players last season and has shown consistently that he is more than just a goal threat given his successful dribbles/90min (2.5) in the last calendar year was in the top 2% of forwards across all of Europe. Additionally, Rutter is second in Hoffenheim’s senior squad for expected assists/90min during the current 2022-23 campaign at 0.21. (Note: data sourced from @EuroExpert_)
Adding this profile to an exciting forward line that already includes the aforementioned Gnonto as well as Brenden Aaronson, Crysencio Summerville, and Joel Gelhardt, Orta and Marsch could be looking at an electric attacking core that could be used as a springboard to re-establish the club in mid-table and beyond.