Leeds United have had a much more productive transfer window than they have had previously. In fact, the club were so confident they had what they needed that business ended at around 15:20 yesterday afternoon.
On ‘Deadline Day’ itself, Leeds United did two pieces of business: they brought in Pawel Cibicki from Malmö on a near-£2 million deal and Pierre-Michel Lasogga on a season-long loan from SV Hamburg. But there was more.
Creeping under the radar was a third signing – Oliver Šarkić, a 20-year-old striker brought in from Portuguese giants Benfica. The youngster, with dual Montenegran and English nationality, had been at Benfica since tranferring from Belgian side RSC Anderlecht’s youth set-up at the start of September 2014.
His arrival at the club, likely to be more a part of the burgeoning Under-23 squad that has been assembled since Andrea Radrizzani took over the stewardship of the club, signals further intent by the club’s management to build a solid base under first team level where talented youngsters can flourish.
Oliver Šarkić – Five Things for Leeds United Fans
1. 20-year-old Šarkić started out his football career in Belgium with Anderlecht’s youth side, graduating to their Under-17s in 2012. He moved to Benfica, and their Under-19s in September 2014, progressing through to the Benfica B side in January 2015. He moved away from the Portuguese giants in January this year for a half-season loan to AD Fafe.
2. He’s made 61 second-tier appearances in Portugal, scoring seven times. 43 of these appearances (five goals/two assists) were for Benfica’s B side, the remaining 18 appearances (two goals) for AD Fafe.
3. His twin brother, Matija, is on the books at Aston Villa and moved to Wigan Athletic on loan yesterday.
4. He has chosen to represent Montenegro at youth international level, despite being also being eligible for England representation. The young striker has featured six times for his chosen nations, three for the Under-17s and nine times for the Under-19s, scoring three times for the latter age group against Georgia, Cyprus and Serbia.
5. He has featured six times for the Benfica’s Under 19s in the UEFA Youth League across the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons. He scored three times: against Bayer Leverkusen in 14/14 and against Galatasaray and FK Pribram in 15/16.
Oliver Šarkić: skills and goals highlight reel