Abel Hernandez, a Uruguay international striker with a prolific goalscoring record not just in the Championship but abroad. How can Leeds possibly compete to sign the player when he is on £40k per week? Well maybe the answer lies in the United States of America and the NFL franchise of the San Francisco 49ers.
People say there is never a dull moment at Leeds United, I disagree. I’ve had plenty of lows at the club, in fact I think as fans we’ve had more than most in the country combined but the dare to dream is what gets us heading back to Elland Road season after season. False dawn you say? Yes we’ve had plenty of them, in fact we write the rule book on them these days.
The investment of the 49ers today isn’t a false dawn, this isn’t a quick fix to our long-term aim and it won’t make us the new Wolverhampton Wanderers or Aston Villa, money will still have to be spent wisely, but it does shed some light as to why we have Abel Hernandez at the top of the transfer list. Andrea Radrizzani has money, we know this and recent events regarding TV rights to La Liga show that he has more than he let’s on at Leeds United, but clearly he will only spend what he lays out and no more on transfers.
When January came he did panic buy, a striker that ended up not kicking a ball for the club in Tyler Roberts, Adam Forshaw at £4.5 million, his best business so far, and a huge gamble on Belgian left-back Laurens De Bock from Club Brugge, this one we still can’t judge but the early signs weren’t great.
Radrizzani seems set on a budget and that won’t change in the summer months anyway. He’s clearly putting together a more significant number than last summer, the sale of Chris Wood paid for all our business and some in the end, and the targets we have at the top of the shopping list reiterate this.
Abel Hernandez, Kyle Bartley and Angus Gunn, three players that we wouldn’t have even considered last summer. Wages, fees and expensive loans all combine to make those three a non-starter, well last year anyway. Leeds are currently in negotiations with Swansea over Bartley and are chasing the deal for Hernandez when every indication is we couldn’t really afford him, that was until today.
he wants a big salary but there’s no fee and no signing-on fee so there are ways of factoring it all into a deal.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) May 21, 2018
The club have released a statement regarding the 49ers partnership and investment and it reads that the money generated from the sale (believed to be £10 million for 11%) are to go straight into transfers. Now with what we already had in our budget, which included lifting the cap on the £15k wage budget per player plus the new money we have a significant advantage for deals compared to this time 24 hours ago.
As you can see with Phil Hay’s tweet above, no signing on fee and no fee for a player like Abel Hernandez is significant, you can break down a six-figure-sum and turn that into wages, especially when you’ve just sold 11% of the club. Kyle Bartley is another, his wages will be higher than those already at the club and we were confident of landing him weeks ago, now we have extra money to play with, even if it isn’t daft numbers, and that could be the difference between getting a deal done in two days or two months, even not at all.
It’s a huge summer for the football club and Andrea Radrizzani seems to understand that. Whether it was him or Victor Orta that pulled the plug on the transfer of Jerry Mbakogu nobody really knows, we just know that it was the right call. We have to make sure the likes of Pontus Jansson, Adam Forshaw and Samu Saiz have the players around them to thrive, they can’t do it all on their own and that became evident, especially with Saiz and Jansson who had a terrible end to the season, their own confidence drained and their confidence in n those around them rightfully non-existent.
£10 million may not seem a lot of money in the modern game but we are a Championship side and you don’t need the world to challenge at the top end of the division. You have to find a way of attracting players with decent wages through free transfers, loans and purchases from clubs around you. Today’s deal lends a helping hand from the US to our summer transfer business as well as interesting times ahead off the football pitch/es.