Done and dusted, from hinted and conjectured; Leeds United forward Samu Saiz is heading back to Spain with Getafe.
The mercurial Spaniard, who helped destroy Stoke City and Derby County as Leeds United sparkled in early season, signed for the Whites in July 2017. He arrived from then second-tier side SD Huesca for around £3m.
The shock news was broken by Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Phil Hay, who said all along that he was going. Now that premonition seems all too real as Samu flies out for a medical at Getafe ahead of an initial loan deal.
That deal, which flickers into life at the turn of the January window, also contains a future purchase clause. However, as this deal flickers to life, Leeds United fans will have to get used to the last flickers of his career at Elland Road turning to glowing embers.
In fairness, it was all over the news in Spain that this was to happen:
Ángel Torres, president of Getafe, saying that a player will take a medical at the club next week and could also be present at their game on Saturday.
Didn’t name him, but that player is expected to be Samu Sáiz from Leeds.
— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) December 13, 2018
A season-and-a-half if what Leeds United fans have seen of the pocket dynamo that Saiz is. That first season brought five goals in the Championship and provided eight assists, but also demonstrated signs of inconsistency when his head dropped and his morale was flagging.
This season, the Spanish wizard set off ablaze and his sparkling prowess and potential was prominent as Leeds hit their stride early. Yet, and despite three assists so far, form has deserted him and Saiz has found himself more on the bench than on the pitch.
The thing is, Leeds United fans must not dwell on the negatives: that inconsistency, that drop in form, that spitting incident. To do that is akin to thinking of the times your dog shat on the floor, cocked a leg on the cat or chewed the wife’s ‘toy’ rather than the love and companionship it brought you.
There is likely to be an understandable backlash as Whites fans come to terms with Saiz’s loss back to Spain, homesickness to blame for robbing us of una luz que brilló mucho. And he did shine, often eye-shieldingly well.
On his day he was unplayable, and even when he wasn’t his reputation drew opposition players to him, opening up spaces on the pitch for others. He would drive at opponents, his low centre of gravity making it difficult to topple him – and his feet, his feet were quick.
Whenever he came of the bench this season, he seemed to change the momentum and urgency of Leeds’ game. His range of passing was sumptuous, he sees passes and space that few others can connect with – it’s like he’s on a different level.
Now that his English adventure is seemingly over, let’s remember the good times. Let’s not start slating him as if he’s been ’round our houses, torn down our Christmas trees and urinated on our presents. No, let’s just remember him for the likes of this: