Stats suggest Leeds United should ignore risks and finally sign Alexandru Maxim

Leeds United fans

Alexandru Maxim has endured a troubled season with Stuttgart - but there's no doubting the quality of the long-standing Leeds United target.

VfB Stuttgart's Alexandru Maxim celebrates promotion on the pitch after the match

Leeds United’s links with Alexandru Maxim simply aren’t going away. The Romanian international has been a reported target of the Yorkshire giants for a number of months and, after he admitted that he will consider his future this summer (per Lattenkreuz), speculation is rife that Leeds will make their move.

Signing the 26-year-old would certainly come with a caveat of risk. After all, the fact that Maxim spent the 2016/17 season in the German second division with Stuttgart is a stark indicator of his inability to fulfil the potential that saw him linked with a big money move to the Premier League a few years ago.

Alexandru Maxim 1

Furthermore, according to Evenimentl Zilei, Maxim has already wasted an opportunity to kick-start his career with Leeds. The report claims that the playmaker’s agent spoke to The Whites in January, only for Maxim’s extortionate wage demands to scupper a deal.

Moreover, the fact that he was dropped by Stuttgart coach Hannes Wolf earlier this season for disciplinary reasons provides yet another excuse for Leeds to look elsewhere.

Maximum rewards?

Beyond the ugly exterior, however, lies an immensely gifted attacking midfielder. One who set up six goals and scored five himself in just 15 league starts in 2016/17.

Hannover's Marvin Bakalorz in action with Stuttgart's Alexandru Maxim

One whose return to the first-team fold in the final weeks of the season inspired Stuttgart to the second tier title.

An excellent set-piece taker at ease with the ball at his feet, Maxim also set up 20 Bundesliga goals in the three seasons prior to Stuttgart’s relegation at the end of the 2015/16 season.

Needless to say, Leeds could do with a player with his ability to carve open opposition backlines like a tender thanksgiving turkey. After all, the lack of creative cutting edge cost Leeds dear last season when Pablo Hernandez’s dip in form coincided with a springtime collapse which cost the club a place in the play-offs.

Leeds' Pablo Hernandez dejectedLeeds' Pablo Hernandez needs support

Based on raw statistics alone, Maxim would be worth the risk.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch