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Leeds' most-important signing could be Sol Bamba

Before bringing anyone new to the club, Leeds must first secure the services of one of their key players.

Those associated with Leeds United have emphasised a number of key recruitment points already this summer. The club must hold onto their young players, bring in Championship-proven experience and also look abroad...

But what could be Leeds' most-important signing of the summer is closer to home than you may think.

Indeed, experienced centre-back Sol Bamba has been a rock at Elland Road since joining the Yorkshire side on loan in January. Executive director Adam Pearson says he 'could well' join Leeds on a permanent basis this summer - and the club would be wise to secure his services.

What seems to be a small minority have complained about the Ivorian this year but there is absolutely no question he has improved his side's defence since his arrival.

 (Per Game) TacklesInterceptionsClearancesHeadersAppearancesMinutes Played
Sol Bamba 2.05 4 8.58 4 19 1,710
Giuseppe Bellusci 1.9 3.27 7.57 1.97 30 2,586
Liam Cooper 1.38 2.62 7.48 3.17 29 2,317

As Opta stats show, the 30-year-old is superior to Leeds' other two first-team centre-backs in every major defensive area.

The Ivorian wins more tackles and interceptions per game than Giuseppe Bellusci and Liam Cooper and makes more clearances (posting some record tallies in individual Championship games last season). Bamba is also more authoritative in the air.

However he compares to both Bellusci and Cooper, meanwhile, another selling point for Bamba is the fact he has developed solid partnerships with both.

And it's not just his playing ability, with the 30-year-old bringing a certain intelligence and credibility to his role. His communication skills are excellent and he is a leader at the back. That much is even clear from his post-match interviews, when Bamba is more-than-willing to speak out about Leeds as a club.

If you aren't sold yet, the most pertinent question is: who else is there with the same quality and availability - and who has already settled at Leeds?

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