Who is Leny Yoro? 18-year-old centre-back linked with Liverpool FC

Liverpool are expected to be in the market for a defender this summer and Lille centre-back Leny Yoro has been linked to Anfield, but who is he?

It is all change at the club this summer, Arne Slot is the new head coach and key decision-makers have been swapped out as the likes of Michael Edwards and Julian Ward return.

It is a shift in power to who calls the shots, though while all that has changed the expectation remains that Liverpool are on the hunt for a new forward and defender this summer.

Eighteen-year-old Yoro has been linked to the Reds since last December, with French outlet Le10Sport name-checking the club as suitors, and now DiMarzio have done the same.

More credible reports have yet to emerge, but it stands to reason that Liverpool would be interested in the Frenchman, who already has 60 senior club appearances to his name.

Plenty of interest in the talented teen

Yoro stands at 6’3″ and is a product of the Lille academy, rising through the ranks swiftly to make his senior debut at the age of just 16 in 2022.

He has since played 60 times for the first team in the two years since, establishing himself as a reliable right-sided first-choice centre-back.

Real Madrid have been credited with interest, as too Man United, PSG and Liverpool – that says a lot about his quality and his potential moving forward.

According to Total Football Analysis, he is more of a “passive type of centre-back who prefers to provide cover and hang back rather than dart out of the backline and force the engagement.”

Name: Leny Yoro
Age: 18
Height: 6’3″
Position: Centre-back (right-sided)
Nationality: French
Strengths: Positioning and ability to read the game
Weaknesses: Moments of chaos and forced engagement

His out-of-possession qualities are said to be what makes him so highly sought after, with his positioning and ability to read the game his obvious strengths.

Total Football Analysis added that he is “incredibly difficult for ball carriers to get past” and “tends to be incredibly persistent when it comes to keeping track of dribblers.”

As for weaknesses, he is not currently too comfortable when forced to engage when it’s not on his terms or in chaotic moments – but he is still young and there is plenty of time to improve.

Exit likely?

General matchday image of Premier League ball (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Yoro became a client of super-agent Jorge Mendes – who is also the agent of Darwin Nunez – late last year, which immediately sparked rumours of an impending exit from Lille this summer.

The 18-year-old is out of contract in 2025 and the French club are said to want at least £51 million for the defender, and even Lille’s manager Paulo Fonseca believes he will be moving on.

“I believe Leny in the next year will be at one of the best clubs in Europe,” Fonseca told reporters back in April, via the BBC.

“He started here at 16 with us. He is very ambitious but very disciplined.

“He grew a lot but he is a kid with a big maturity, with big quality.

“He’s very focused, very concentrated, he wants to learn every day and I have no doubt in modern football he will be one of the best central defenders in the world.”

An intelligent young defender with plenty of potential and experience, it would not be a surprise if Liverpool deemed him to be worthy of investing in.