When Massimo Cellino first took over Leeds United, the first sign of transfer activity was a tranche of players being drafted in from the Italian leagues. The Whites are in the early throes of a new ownership under Andrea Radrizzani, and there’s evidence of a changing tack.
Under Radrizzani there’s a growing sense of stability at Elland Road, the ideal way to develop from the building blocks of a successful season last time out. One of the new owner’s first big steps was to appoint Spaniard Victor Orta at the club in the new role of Director of Football.
Orta came in via a last employment at Middlesbrough, under the direction of Aitor Karanka, who himself was once seen as a favourite for the vacant manger’s chair at Elland Road. Orta’s remit at the Riverside was scouting and according to the Gazette Live, when signing on at the Teessiders, he came with “a weapons grade contact book.”
This is something Leeds fans will be hoping is put to good use over the summer to help bring in the weapons that are needed for promotion. One of the players that Orta helped to bring in whilst in charge of scouting at Zenith St Petersburg was Brazilian World Cup star Hulk.
Now whilst Leeds fans are dreaming of big signings, I’m sure that they are realistic in that no-one of the quality of Hulk will be smashing in the goals at Elland Road next season. That hasn’t stopped Leeds United fans like Simon (below) asking journalist Alan Nixon of The Sun about the likelihood of certain players coming to Elland Road this summer.
@reluctantnicko Anything on Leeds, Will we still be looking to sign Ryan Kent from liverpool or was he a Monk target? What about Pedraza…?
— Simon. (@Si_Plow) June 5, 2017
Nixon’s reply (below) says that, aside from appointing a long-awaited manager, that Orta will have his say on the arrivals at Elland Road, with Nixon saying that any identified players are “targets likely to be new.”
This new direction is to be expected given the scouting/transfer pedigree that Victor Orta came from, learning his trade under Spanish legend Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo, a man more commonly known as ‘Monchi’ – a goalkeeper turned transfer wizard for Spanish club Sevilla.
Monchi’s reputation for buying low, and selling high, is certainly borne out when looking at a snapshot of deals he oversaw. He signed Dani Alves for €1.3 million, selling him later and making €40 million on the sale. He signed Julio Baptista for €3 million and sold him for €25. Youth team players at Sevilla in the shape of Sergio Ramos, José Antonio Reyes and Jesús Navas were sold for almost €75 million.
Leeds are also rumoured to be bringing in another acolyte/graduate of the ‘Monchi system’ with Orta said to be bringing in Sevilla’s Daniel Salas, Sevilla’s head of scouting for Portugal and South America.
— Enrique García (@EnriqueGarciaED) June 4, 2017
With the changes already undertaken, and with others such as the Salas arrival yet to be made, Nixon’s note that targets will be identified by Victor Orta does help to highlight a possible shift in transfer policy at Elland Road.