As the Premier League season continues, the Hard Tackle takes a closer look at Leeds United’s transfer activity in this summer transfer window.
Leeds United have been one of the most eye-catching teams in the Premier League this season. Their performances against top dogs like Manchester City and Liverpool haven’t gone unnoticed but neither has their incredible work in the transfer market.
The newly-promoted Premier League outfit spent over €100 million this past summer, acquiring the services of stars like Rodrigo Moreno and Raphinha while also bagging bargains like Robin Koch and Illan Meslier.
There were some notable absentees too, with the likes of Ben White and Jean-Kevin Augustin returning to their parent clubs, following the end of their respective loan spells. And with the domestic transfer window in England coming to a close, The Hard Tackle runs the rule over Leeds United’s transfer market activity this summer.
Rodrigo Moreno became Leeds United’s most expensive signing when he joined from Valencia for a fee of €30 million. It seemed like a statement signing from the newly promoted club, especially at a time when even the big clubs have refrained from spending big in the market.
So far, Rodrigo is yet to establish himself as a key component in the Leeds United starting lineup. But, he is going from strength to strength, notably scoring the equaliser in the draw with Manchester City, which was followed by yet another impressive display against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the most recent match.
The Spaniard is starting to showcase his majestic technical qualities that could help Leeds United become more unpredictable going forward, even though he may not add ten or more goals to his name, this season.
Mateusz Bogusz was always identified as a potential future star following his move to Leeds United at the start of last year. He had shown immense quality and promise during his time at Ruch Chorzow, in his native Poland.
Unfortunately, the young midfielder failed to impress Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road. He was barely a part of the Argentine’s first-team plans in the Championship last season, with his only appearance coming in the final matchday as he appeared as a late second-half substitute against Charlton Athletic.
Bogusz found himself trailing the likes of Robbie Gotts, Jamie Shackleton and Adam Forshaw in the pecking order. So a loan move away to second division Spanish side UD Lugrones does make sense for the Pole.
Value For Money
Robin Koch was one of the long-term targets for Victor Orta and his team as the German had the ability to not only pass the ball out from the back but was also a versatile defender, boasting an imposing frame.
Absolutely love Robin Koch. Seems like an absolute steal at £13m. #lufc
— Thomas Bradley (@TBradley23) October 19, 2020
However, what made Koch such a bargain for Leeds United this summer is the transfer fee of just €13 million, which is criminally low for a player who is starting to become a key component in the German national team.
Unfortunately for the Whites, though, Koch’s start to his Premier League career wasn’t a bright one as the defender most notably conceded two penalties in his first two matches. But, he has improved since, providing great performances against Sheffield United and Manchester City, where he showcased his ability to read the game.
And with the defensive trio of Gaetano Berardi, Diego Llorente and Liam Cooper all struggling with injuries, Koch has now emerged as a defensive lynchpin for Leeds United. It will certainly be interesting to see how he performs against Aston Villa in the upcoming match.
A Player They Should Have Signed
Following a majestic 2019/20 campaign, Ben White was always going to be Leeds United’s main target in this summer transfer window.
Unfortunately, the Yorkshire outfit failed to secure his services on a permanent basis as Brighton & Hove Albion had a rather high valuation for the player. While clubs like Liverpool were also interested, the Seagulls themselves were keen on retaining his services and the defender eventually signed a new contract.
Missing out on White was a massive blow for Bielsa as the centre-back had become a vital asset to his defensive unit. He had the quality to emerge with the ball from the back while having a brilliant positional sense. His presence in the side might have fixed the club’s defensive issues this season.
A Player They Should Have Sold
It was surprising to see Leeds United failing to offload Tyler Roberts this summer as the attacker clearly has no future at the club, from what has been observed so far this campaign.
After the club retained the services of Jack Harrison and Helder Costa, it was always clear that Roberts is going to find it difficult to get regular game-time. His role in the side has diminished further, following the arrival of Rodrigo Moreno and Raphinha while Ian Poveda is starting to earn the trust of Marcelo Bielsa.
It leaves Roberts dawdling deep down the pecking order, with the player also struggling to perform when given the opportunity. Hence, a move away from Elland Road could have made a lot of sense for the Welshman this summer.
Transfer Rating: 8/10
Leeds United will be kicking themselves for missing out on Ben White. Aside from that, however, the Whites were excellent in strengthening their depth in the attack and in defence, with the acquisitions of Rodrigo, Raphinha, Koch and Llorente. The permanent signings of Costa and Meslier were also smart.
The Whites could have done a better job in offloading some of their fringe players while signing an alternative for Kalvin Phillips should have been on the agenda as well. But overall, Bielsa’s side deserves a strong eight out of ten.