Leeds United won the race for Juventus star Weston McKennie, but it seems they could overpay to snap up the midfielder.
Arsenal were said to be interested in securing a deal to land McKennie during this window, needing to sign a central midfielder amid injury issues suffered by Mohamed Elneny. Moises Caicedo has been heavily linked, and it now looks as though Jorginho is heading to the Emirates Stadium.
But McKennie was said to have been a target before he agreed to joing Leeds, linking up with American boss Jesse Marsch and fellow US stars Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams. The midfielder has joined on a loan deal until the end of the season, and Sky Sports say there is a £30million option to buy that can be activated by Leeds at the end of the season, though it could also be automatically activated if ‘certain criteria’ are met.
In the end, Arsenal did not push all that hard to beat Leeds to the chase, and that might have been because of Juventus’ valuation, though the loan option might have been useful for the Gunners. According to Transfermarkt, McKennie is worth £18.4million, and that’s a whopping £11.6million less than what Leeds could pay should they make the deal permanent.
Though, overpaying has become something of a trend for Premier League clubs, and almost every signing comes with a premium in January given the selling club are left with a small window to work with as they look to find a replacement. Ultimately, it may not be a bad gamble for Leeds, given how valuable it will be for the club should they manage to secure survival.
But it seems Arsenal were not willing to agree a deal for McKennie at that price, even if it was initially a loan deal.
Interestingly, Leeds also overpaid on Georginio Rutter, paying as much as £24.6million for a player worth £14million, according to Transfermarkt. But the data experts believe they did get it spot on with the signing of Max Wober, paying around £10million.