Leeds United’s summer ploughed doubts right into the heart of the fan base.
Following a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester United in pre-season, there were complaints over their defence. Just how on earth was a team with Gaetano Berardi going to compete as they did last term?
How, without squad depth, were Leeds going to achieve promotion? There were endless concerns, not least with the potential for injuries too.
And indeed, just before the season started, Kemar Roofe suffered an injury blow against Western Sydney Wanderers.
It left the Whites with just Patrick Bamford in attack. However, things changed. Roofe is now an Anderlecht player, swapping Yorkshire for Brussels.
Bamford scored on the opening day but looked at his worst against Nottingham Forest last weekend, spurning a succession of chances in what was a frustrating afternoon for the former Middlesbrough man.
Yet, they now have Eddie Nketiah in their ranks who will be full of confidence after scoring on his debut against Salford.
That game was a strange one, even Berardi found the net, so just how much can be taken from it is a difficult matter.
But where concerns laid firmly at the feet of Leeds supporters heading into the new term, the major pillars of Andrea Radrizzani and Victor Orta have completed some cunning business.
Losing Roofe and also Pontus Jansson in the same window will have come as bitter losses, especially with one scoring 15 and the other appearing in the PFA Championship Team of the Year, but Leeds are more than just two players.
In fact, they’re a squad that for the most part have been kept together. Angus Kinnear admitted recently that the Whites turned down £35m worth of bids for players like Kalvin Phillips, Pablo Hernandez, Luke Ayling and Adam Forshaw.
That’s mightily impressive, particularly for a side who claimed financial fair play was one of the reasons for Jansson’s departure.
Deep down, it was likely more a case of his attitude than it was financial reasons. The very fact they were able to reject in excess of £35m, though, shows that their problems in that department may not be so big.
Holding onto a host of their stars was absolutely pivotal this summer and should send a message to the rest of the division.
Kinnear also claimed the following, telling Yorkshire Evening Post: “I’m fairly confident in saying I don’t think there’s any other club in the Championship that has turned down offers over £20m for one player this season, I think everybody else has accepted those offers.”
But that shows the commitment to the cause the likes of Radrizzani and Orta have. They may not be the most unanimously popular of figures but they’ve managed to get the job done this summer.
The interview with Kinnear was a hugely revealing one, also detailing: “If you want further evidence of Andrea’s commitment it’s firstly the decision to keep Kalvin Phillips.”
Furthermore, it’s also the arrivals that illuminate how well Leeds have done.
In saying that, it’s a mark of Leeds’ ambition and indeed the might that they possess.
Watch Leeds United Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv Below
Not many clubs in the league will have been able to do that but despite initially only being temporary moves, it shows the canny and cunning nature of Orta and Radrizzani.
Leeds may still have questions defensively and in terms of their ability to score goals but with players like Ben White, Costa, Nketiah and Meslier there are definite foundations.
The fact is that, for the moment, this window cannot be considered a disaster.
That, of course, could change in the future, but on the surface the business they concluded in the summer was actually rather shrewd.