Leeds United FC (@LUFC) August 4, 2014
Leeds have made another shrewd signing in the transfer market, this time snapping up highly-rated 18-year-old attacking midfielder Zan Benedicic.
The AC Milan midfielder, who becomes United’s sixth signing of the summer, follows Marco Silvestri, Tommaso Bianchi, Gaetano Berardi, Souleymane Doukara and Stuart Taylor through the Elland Road entrance as Cellino works hard on putting a squad together good enough to win promotion to the Premier League.
We’ve dug around for information on the young Milan talent and sampled the reaction from the Leeds United faithful as they hope the youngster can go on to play a big part in their side next season.
1) He was a part of AC Milan’s first team pre-season tour in the United States, but departed early once negotiations with Leeds United became more serious. A good indication that, although he hasn’t made a first-team appearance, he wasn’t too far away from Filippo Inzaghi’s mind.
2) He has won numerous caps for Slovenia’s under-21 side, despite only being 18. He made his debut for the under-21 side over a year ago and scored his first goal against Bulgaria in a 5-1 win last November.
3) Last season, the young attacking midfielder scored six goals in 35 appearances for the AC Milan Primavera side, the youth league of Italian football, and was considered by the club’s hierarchy as one of their most promising young players. As shown by his call up to AC Milan’s first team pre-season tour.
4) Benedicic, who is widely touted as an organic product of AC Milan’s youth set-up, actually signed for the Italian giants in 2011 from Slovenian second division side NK Triglav Kranj.
SPOTTED: Zan Benedicic walking on water at Clarence Dock #lufc— MrPaulRobinson (@MrPaulRobinson) August 4, 2014
Well happy with benedicic signing, hope he can have same affect as vydra did at watford!— Jezzabear! (@AlexCollinsLUFC) August 4, 2014
on paper, benedicic looks like an amazing signing! however i haven't seen him play so will reserve full judgement till i have #lufc— James McCarthy (@bigmacca199) August 4, 2014
Amazing news that we have the option to buy Benedicic in the summer if he turns out to be decent!! Top work again Salerno/Cellino #LUFC— Glynn Williams (@TheGWills) August 4, 2014
What we've seen so far is that the new signings have that bit of 'class' we've craved for in years. Zan Benedicic will add to that. #LUFC— RightintheGaryKellys (@RITGK) August 4, 2014
The young Slovenian has certainly got Leeds fans excited about him signing on the dotted line. However, he still has it all to prove, as suggested by the Leeds fans in the reaction.
Nevertheless, it is yet another signing with good pedigree by Leeds United and if they can gel early on then Leeds could perhaps become a dark horse for promotion. In fact, as it stands, the Yorkshire club are fifth favourite for the drop, 12/1 for promotion and 40/1 to win the league. So, quite clearly 'dark horses' in the eyes of the bookies.
Can Benedicic help Leeds United defy the odds?