Quick links


Leeds United should sign former Italian international winger Simone Pepe this summer

Simone Pepe shoots at goal

Simone Pepe would be a great signing for Leeds United this summer.

Simone Pepe shoots at goal

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino was subjected to a lot of criticism after he decided to dispense with the services of Steve Evans despite the Scotsman performing relatively well in the role as manager since arriving at Elland Road from Rotherham back in October.

Nonetheless, Cellino has managed to take a bit of heat off him by appointing the exciting Garry Monk as the replacement for Evans and Leeds’ long suffering faithful are finally optimistic that the club will be able to put up a sustained promotion bid under the tutelage of the 37-year-old during the upcoming campaign.

That being said, Monk will surely need to significantly strengthen his ranks over the summer in order to turn Leeds into genuine contenders and the former Swansea City boss has moved quickly to secure the services of Marcus Antonsson and Kyle Bartley over the past few days.

Swansea manager Garry Monk

Monk is planning to further bolster his side in the attacking areas and according to reports from the Daily Express, claims have been made that Leeds are currently considering a move for former Juventus star Simone Pepe.

Tutto Mercato revealed that Pepe failed to reach an agreement over a contract extension with Chievo Verona and while there is a possibility that the attacker could continue with the Italian side as further talks are planned, he is currently a free agent and is weighing other options as well, with Leeds a possible destination.

Since the arrival of Cellino at Leeds back in 2014, Leeds have unsurprisingly tapped into the Italian market and have signed the likes of Mirco Antenucci, Marco Silvestri, Giuseppe Bellusci, Tommaso Bianchi and Dario Del Fabro.

Leeds United's Giuseppe Bellusci

However, none of the aforementioned players have been particularly successful at Elland Road and the fans will understandably be sceptical regarding the suitability of Pepe as well. Nevertheless, Leeds could do a lot worse than consider a move for a player of Pepe’s experience as well as quality this summer.

The winger has enjoyed a very successful career with the likes of Udinese and Juventus and has managed 23 caps for the Italian national team.

At 32, Pepe no longer remains at his peak but as evidenced by his performances for Chievo (who finished in the top half of Serie A) last season, he can most certainly still do a job at the highest level.

Simone Pepe celebrates

Despite his advancing years, Pepe possesses decent pace, is a good crosser of the ball and works very hard when without possession. Monk certainly loves wide players of good quality and Pepe could potentially thrive under the new Leeds boss at Elland Road.

Understandably there will be reservations regarding Pepe as the winger never played outside Italy and his wage demands are not known as of yet.

As the former Italian international is available on a free transfer though, he would be worth the risk and potentially could be the marquee signing who could spark Leeds’ return back to the Premier League.

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch