Should Leeds United and Norwich renew their interest in Mandela Keita this summer?

Antwerp are set for a big rebuild this summer. With Mark van Bommel announcing that he will end his two year spell at the club and a number of players expected to follow him out the door, the make up of the starting XI for the 2024/2025 season will be very different. One player who has gotten a lot of attention from England in the past is Mandela Keita. The young central midfielder is once again on loan from OH Leuven, but this time Antwerp have an obligation to buy. That being said, given the current situation and the need to bring in finances, now could be a good time for Keita’s English suitors to return.

Leeds United and Norwich were two sides heavily linked to the 21-year-old central midfielder. After helping Antwerp win their first title since the 1950s last season, Keita has returned to play 34 games for the club, grabbing three assists. He remains a confident player on the ball and has won over 50% of both his ground and aerial duels this season. Despite being involved in helping the side win back the ball, he has only been booked twice.

At the age of 21, Keita still has plenty to learn. However, Leeds and Norwich would now be getting a player who has Champions League experience on top of title and cup winning experience. The midfielder is valued at €11m, so would be pricey even for a Championship side. Yet both sides have a chance of promotion through the play-offs, with the money gained from the Premier League changing the types of players available. Should one of the sides ultimately be promoted, Keita would be a great addition in a physical league like the Premier League.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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