A year ago this week and Leeds United were being linked with a rather odd potential transfer. A report from Foot Mercato in France suggested that Marcelo Bielsa was hot on a potential move for Tunisian international Yohan Benalouane.
It was a strange report as the defender had only joined Championship rivals, Nottingham Forest, in January. The defender, who only made 29 appearances following a £5 million (Leicester Mercury) move to former club Leicester City in 2015, joined Forest and became a regular in Martin O’Neill’s backline.
As it happens, Leeds are not particularly missing out. Benalouane’s form started to dip not long after these reports came out and he missed Forest’s final three games of last season with suspension and injury.
O’Neill left Forest in the summer, but the arrival of Sabri Lamouchi, who shares Tunisian heritage with Benalouane, would have had the centre-back hopeful of getting back into the Forest first-team.
Unfortunately, that has not been the case for the 32-year-old. He has played just once all season for Forest, the FA Cup loss to Chelsea in January.
Injury has undoubtedly played it’s part, as he was ruled out from the early stages of the season until December. He has not featured again since the Chelsea loss and with his contract expiring in the summer, it is hard to see Forest keeping him on.
Leeds United meanwhile snapped up Ben White on loan from Brighton in the summer and the defender has gone on to be one of the revelations of the season in the Championship.
Leeds United fans will not be overly disappointed that this transfer rumour never amassed into anything concrete.