Reports this week in the Daily Star claimed Leeds United were looking to sign Fulham’s Stefan Johansen this summer on a free transfer.
Although the current West Brom loanee is superb at the Championship level, Johansen would represent an underwhelming signing if Leeds are promoted to the Premier League.
After arriving at Craven Cottage from Celtic in 2016, Johansen blew away the Championship with the Whites. As part of a three man central midfield partnership with Kevin McDonald and Tom Cairney, Johansen was adventurous in attack and strong in the tackle.
A true box-to-box midfielder, the Norwegian international was an invaluable member of the 2017/18 promotion-winning side.
But once Fulham were in the Premier League, Johansen was clearly off the pace. While the Whites were struggling, Johansen could barely gain a place in the side, earning rare starts and quick substitute appearances.
It was glaringly clear that Johansen was not a Premier League quality player. Despite his dogged work ethic and snappy challenges, the midfielder doesn’t possess the technical ability to boss matches like he did in the Championship.
Although a free transfer this summer might be intriguing for Leeds, the club should not expect Johansen to play a key role in the top flight — if Leeds gain promotion.