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Much like the Eredivisie and Jupiler League, a player’s goalscoring exploits in the top flight of Swiss football is usually taken with a pinch of salt if you’re a Premier League scout searching for a new centre-forward.

But while Albian Ajeti, Afonso Alves and Wesley Moraes have done little for the reputation of Europe’s B-list leagues – much like Zach Braff’s inability to swap the sterilised wards of Scrubs for the silver screen – Arthur Cabral’s remarkable exploits don’t deserve to fly under the radar. 

According to Globo Esporte, Leeds United made a £16 million bid 14 months ago for the Basel number ten who plays more like a ‘number nine’. 

Your Club’s Player Who Newcastle ‘WILL SIGN’

Your Club’s Player Who Newcastle ‘WILL SIGN’

Bielsa wanted Arthur Cabral at Leeds United

What’s more, it’s claimed Marcelo Bielsa personally requested Cabral’s signature.

And what the Argentine wants, he usually gets at Elland Road with Andrea Radrizzani, Victor Orta and co gracefully bending to the mercurial manager’s every whim. 

But while Bielsa was backed with a recruitment drive the likes of which Leeds had rarely seen after securing the Championship title in 2019/20, Raphinha, Diego Llorente and Robin Koch wouldn’t be joined in West Yorkshire by the irrepressible Cabral. 

Perhaps Leeds felt Rodrigo Moreno, an experienced Spain international with a proven track record in La Liga, represented better value for money than Cabral, a then little-known 22-year-old who had only played in Switzerland and his native Brazil. 

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The stats, however, tell a different tale. Cabral scored a career-best 20 goals last season.

And while Rodrigo continues to look like a racing stripe on a Ford Focus at Leeds – superfluous and a little jarring – Cabral continues to go from strength to strength.

Remarkably, he has already matched last season’s tally long before the streets are lined with pumpkins and those funny-smelling Halloween masks hit the supermarket shelves. 

Cabral has found the net 20 times in just 17 games, including 11 in nine Swiss Super League matches. 

It remains to be seen whether Leeds come knocking on Basel’s door again in January but few would be surprised if they did. As Daniel James will tell you, Bielsa tends to stick to his preferred transfer targets like a limpet to a rock, chasing until the race is won. 

And with those sorts of numbers, if Leeds don’t make a move for Cabral soon, another big club certainly will.

Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

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