After narrowly avoiding relegation on the final day of the 2021/22 campaign, Leeds United fans will be uncomfortable with the sales of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha.
The loss of two huge players has them fearing the worst for this upcoming season but, by capturing talented winger Luis Sinisterra, there is hope that the Whites will actually land on their feet.
For a reported fee of £21m, Leeds have brought in the 23-year-old from Dutch side Feyenoord and will hope to embed him in time for their promising opening run of fixtures.
So, where does the Colombia international fit in at Jesse Marsch’s side and what impact will he have in Fantasy Premier League (FPL)?
We’ll attempt to answer those questions below.
Sinisterra began his career back home with Once Caldas. An impressive start to the 2018 season convinced Feyenoord to make a move that summer, where most of his debut campaign was spent as an unused substitute.
|2018||Once Caldas||Categoría Primera A||17||4||4|
|2017||Once Caldas||Categoría Primera A||22||1||0|
|2016||Once Caldas||Categoría Primera A||2||0||0|
Regular starts arrived in 2019/20 until a serious knee injury kept him out of action for ten months. Eased into action upon his return, Sinisterra was soon back in the starting XI to end the season with one goal and six assists from the final dozen outings.
The path was clear for Sinisterra to shine in 2021/22 and that’s exactly what he did. Alongside a brilliant 19 domestic goal involvements came a breakout year in continental football.
As Feyenoord reached the inaugural Europa Conference League final, Sinisterra netted 11 times and grabbed a further seven assists in his 18 games. This included a hat-trick against Elfsborg, a pair of quarter-final goals versus Slavia Prague and one more past Marseille in the semis.
Although the Rotterdam side lost to Roma in the final, Sinisterra did enough to be named as UEFA’s Europa Conference League Young Player of the Season.
Internationally, he has five caps for Colombia but is yet to establish himself in Nestor Lorenzo’s starting line-up.
Looking at the WhoScored page, it confirms what the eye test suggests – that Sinisterra is an inverted winger that loves to dribble. The type of exciting player that gets fans off their seats.
He ranks favourably when comparing his 2021/22 dribbles to the Premier League’s best. His total take-ons (152) were beaten only by Allan Saint-Maximin and Emmanuel Dennis, also ranking second for successful ones (107) at an outstanding rate of 70.4%.
It should also be noted that he played fewer minutes than the other names in this table – one of which is Raphinha.
|Player||Total Dribbles||Successful||% of Success||Minutes Played|
Data were taken from the Fantasy Football Scout Members Area
Recently, Dutch scout Marc Lamberts spoke to the Yorkshire Evening Post about what the winger can bring to Elland Road.
“He can play on both flanks but is significantly different on the right. He is not giant on crosses, so that will affect play on the right. His strengths – quick, technical, good attacking vision, has a good shot and can make space for an [overlapping] full-back or wing-back. Weaknesses: defensive positioning and overcommitting in attack. Sometimes he wants too much and needs to keep it simple.”
WHERE SINISTERRA FITS IN AT LEEDS
With the new signing predominantly being a left-sided threat, as opposed to Raphinha attacking from the right, it will be interesting to see how Marsch sets up his new-look side.
It’s the American’s first transfer window and full season in charge, with Sinisterra, Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams, Rasmus Kristensen, Marc Roca and Darko Gyabi already snapped up during a busy summer.
“He’s a powerful, fast, explosive player who is also intelligent. He can play football but really intensively and you can see that he’s quickly fit well within the group.” – Jesse Marsch
Previously, Marsch’s sides have tended to play in a 4-2-2-2 set-up. Sinisterra would occupy one of the two central attacking midfield roles, cutting inside off the left.
A consequence of this transfer is that Jack Harrison could switch sides and now play from the right flank. Left-footed, this again adds to the theory that Marsch will use inverted wingers.
IS SINISTERRA WORTH BUYING IN FPL?
A lot of change is happening at Leeds and FPL managers would probably want time to see how things settle. However, a generous run of opening fixtures sees them top our Season Ticker for the first ten matches.
There may also be some disappointment that Sinisterra was quickly slapped with a £6.5m price tag, which seems slightly too much for an untried import joining last season’s 17th-placed side.
It’s certainly worth keeping track of Leeds’ pre-season developments, to see how Marsch wants them to play and what role the Colombian has in it.
Potentially, the Premier League has just landed a fantastic new attacking talent. With the £6.0m to £7.5m midfield price bracket looking uninspiring, there is a chance for Sinisterra to become the go-to name.
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