Fabrizio Romano believes Leeds will pay an intial €1.2m loan fee, but have a €33m buy option included, which also has add-ons up to €40m for the total potential package.
The USMNT international has joined American teammates Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams at Elland Road, and comes with a wealth of experience at just 24-years-old, having played 41 times for his country, and almost 100 games for Juventus, too.
But what are the pros and cons of signing the central-midfielder? We take a look at TWO of each here.
Pro – Depth
A major plus point is that Leeds have improved their pool of options in a much-neglected area of the pitch in recent years.
Leeds lost Mateusz Klich in January to D.C. United in the MLS and needed to at least replace him during this window. Their senior options are still not plentiful but have significantly improved over the last six months.
McKennie joins Adams, Marc Roca, Darko Gyabi, and Aaronson in adding to a pool of ever improving options in midfield. It is unclear how exactly Marsch will use his newest recruit but he adds quality and depth to his side.
The big updated Tyler Adams quiz – Can Leeds United fans score 20/20?
Con – Best option?
Azzedine Ounahi signed for Olympique Marseille, but had been a major midfield target for Leeds during the window.
French outlet RMC Sport claim that Angers accepted a drastically lower offer from Marseille for his services than any Leeds were offering. They claim that the fee that has been accepted is actually €10million (or £8.8m) for the midfielder.
However, even if Leeds were quoted more than that for the Moroccan, it is evident that Ounahi would have been better value for money than McKennie. He would have been much cheaper and easier to do financially. He also has more of a threat in carrying the ball and in the final third; qualities Leeds will lack without Klich, which McKennie brings less of when directly compared to Ounahi.
Pro – Versatility
A major pro of McKennie over Ounahi is that the American is a well-rounded player, which makes him able to play a variety of roles.
He has played as a box-to-box midfeidler primarily during his career but can play virtually any midfield role due to his wide skillset. McKennie has also played as a wing-back and full-back as well as wide in midfield, and not just a central player.
He carries more aerial threat as well as more physical presence. The loan with an option to buy is an added bonus compared to Ounahi, too.
Con – Price tag
Despite the good idea of kicking the proverbial financial can down the road until the summer, the signing would present a huge outlay.
Could Leeds sign a better option for that sort of money, or even someone equally as good for less money? Perhaps. Time will tell with his performances and how well McKennie does.
The Whites have spent heavily across the summer window and January, and McKennie could become a club-record deal, if all add-ons are achieved. The loan with an option to buy is smart, but the overall package is still on the hefty side for a club in Leeds’ current position.