Any Leeds United fan will tell you gladly, it’s a joy to watch the Whites…sometimes. At other times it isn’t. Any time other than that, it’s simply indifferent.
It is frustrating watching Leeds, it’s like turning up and watching some psychotic episode unfold in from of your very eyes at times. Mind you, with Madcap Massimo pulling the strings upstairs, what more would you expect?
As transfer season starts to power up, as rumours start to fly like Halloween witches, ‘names’ are linked with each and every football club – Leeds United are no different in that respect.
Soon there will be all manner of names linked with the Whites with ITK fans proclaiming some insider knowledge that their friend’s old man who works at Subway on the counter saw Player X carrying a sports bag and talking to someone who looked like an agent, therefore he is off to Elland Road to sign on the dotted line. In great mathematical wrangling, 2+2=’make a number’ becomes the rule that links Leeds United to players.
Names are always going to be linked to Leeds United, a big club with an almost magnetic pull and a rabid fan-base who live off the whiffs of rumour and hearsay. If only half the players that were rumoured to be joining Leeds United ever joined, or weren’t just a combination of wishes and smoke.
A couple of seasons ago, during the Elland Road club’s ‘Italian Renaissance’, two players that nearly did join were Italian duo Leonardo Pavoletti and Federico Viviani.
Pavoletti, once of Sassuolo (the former club of ex-Leeds United midfielder Tommaso Bianchi) is this season a Genoa player thanks to a £2.25m fee paid to bring him to the club on July 1 2015. So far this season he sits on 13 Serie A goals, the same amount of goals as the Whites top scorer Chris Wood, and in a higher calibre league to boot. Now there are calls in some quarters that he should be considered for the Italy squad for the Euro 2016 tournament.
Then there’s the case of Federico Viviani, once a highly-rated Roma player that Leeds were interested in when Massimo’s rivoluzione glorisa was in its first hurrahs. Phrases such as ‘starlet’, ‘highly-rated’ and ‘cultured’ were bandied about by fans when his name was mentioned. He was a £3m buy by Hellas Verona from Roma and scored the second goal in a 2-1 win over Juventus, a win that broke their 26-match unbeaten run that included 25 wins.
Both players had something in common, aside from their Italian heritage – both came over and saw Leeds United play: Pavoletti taking in a Championship games against Wigan, Viviani a pre-season game against Mansfield Town. Neither player signed.
For the love of Criminy, whatever targets are linked with Leeds United, don’t let them see us play first.