Date: 7th January 2020 at 6:30am
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Sheffield United are not expected to sell Leeds United target Luke Freeman in the January transfer window, according to Football Insider.

Freeman had emerged as an option who could bolster Marcelo Bielsa’s attacking line-up at Elland Road – along with Southampton’s Che Adams and Newcastle United’s Dwight Gayle – following Arsenal’s decision to recall Eddie Nketiah.

But Blades boss Chris Wilder is reticent to lose Freeman in the mid-season market, despite only awarding the Dartford-born midfielder three starts in nine Premier League appearances since his £5million summer transfer from Queens Park Rangers in 2019.

Bielsa had shown an interest in taking Freeman from Loftus Road in June, while also sounding out a deal for Massimo Luongo, though Sheffield United were already expected to conclude a transfer when the boss began to be keen on a deal.

It now seems the Argentine will miss out once more on landing his long-term target, barring a change in circumstances at Bramall Lane before the January window slams shut on Friday 31st at 23:00.

Did Orta and Bielsa make a mistake not landing Freeman in the summer?

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Yes

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Facilitating Freeman’s return to the second-tier could have inspired a return to form for the playmaker, who ended the 2018/19 campaign with the fifth-most key balls (88) of all Championship players.

The 27-year-old also ranked fourth overall for successful dribbles (69), ninth for shots taken from outside the penalty area (53) and seventh for assists fashioned from free-kicks (two), per WhoScored data.

Freeman may not have hit the same heights at Bramall Lane so far in his Blades career, with just three key balls, no goals and no assists in nine Premier League appearances, but his second-tier form could go a long way in helping the Whites secure top-flight football in the coming months.

Currently, only Mateusz Klich (49), Pablo Hernandez (15) and Kalvin Phillips (13) have registered more than ten key balls while playing as a central or attacking midfielder under Bielsa in the Championship this term.

Klich is also the only one of our eight players to have played in a central or attacking midfield role in the league to have registered more than ten successful dribbles (15).

In other Leeds United news, a 6 ft 3 player has agreed a deal to leave the club this month.

 
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