Marsch ‘won’t take risk’ on move for 12-cap USA star

Leeds United’s potential signing of FC Augsburg and United States striker Ricardo Pepi would be a “risk”, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The 19-year-old is currently on loan at Eredivisie side FC Groningen from the Bundesliga club.

What’s the latest on Pepi?

According to Fabrizio Romano, Pepi will leave Augsburg this summer after a strong start to life in the Eredivisie, with many clubs expected to be chasing his signature at the end of the season.

The 12-time United States international is currently in Qatar with his country after being selected for the USMNT World Cup squad.

With Leeds head coach Jesse Marsch also being American, there could be potential rumours that the 19-year-old could be a potential transfer target for the Elland Road outfit, and join both Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams in Yorkshire next summer.

However, Jones believes that Pepi’s goal-scoring record in Europe has been unconvincing overall, and the current Whites head coach may not want to take a risk on the young forward.

What has Jones said about Pepi?

Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “Pepi’s goal record since moving to Europe overall is not convincing, I know he’s started to score a moment, but the sample size that we’ve got is probably too small to take a chance on based on what we saw last season.

“Pepi was supposed to be the answer to the USMNT’s striking problems, but he hasn’t been able to show that that’s definitely the case.

“I don’t think personally that Jesse Marsch should probably take a risk on him.”

Should Leeds sign Pepi?

Pepi has begun to find his stride now he has been able to get a regular run of games in the Eredivisie and has impressed since his first start in September, scoring seven goals and providing two assists in ten appearances for the Dutch outfit, according to Transfermarkt.

The El Paso-born forward is prepared to put in the hard yards for his team as well, as shown by the fact that he ranks in the top 1% of forwards in comparison to his positional peers for interceptions per 90 minutes (0.74) and clearances per 90 minutes (1.98), according to FBref.

However, this may be a signing that Leeds want to stay away from for the time being, with Pepi not being able to hit the back of the net in 16 appearances for Augsburg last season according to Transfermarkt, suggesting that he still has to prove himself before he can be considered a genuine striking option in a top-class European league.

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