Leeds should count themselves lucky after Victor Orta transfer decision

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This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

As Ryan Kent signed a £7m deal with Rangers on Monday, all hope of Leeds landing the promising winger were firmly quashed.

Or had they already been stamped upon by one of their own?

This summer, Victor Orta made a late swoop for striker Eddie Nketiah. Impressing the Arsenal hierarchy in a Dragons’ Den style process, the Leeds official convinced the Gunners to let him join the Whites.

Their attention, according to Yorkshire Evening Post, had switched from Ryan Kent.

The former Liverpool man was at the heart of a long-running transfer saga stretching back to July and possibly even beyond but ultimately he didn’t join.

Only in January, Leeds came within inches of landing another winger, Daniel James.

He is enjoying life at Manchester United now, scoring three goals in the early stages of the campaign but it could have been so much different.

The Welshman was sat at Elland Road waiting to be unveiled until Swansea pulled the plug.

With Kent, however, it was Leeds pulling out.

They had agreed a fee with Liverpool of £4m, potentially rising to the £7m he’s now moved to Scotland for, but for one reason or another, they moved for Nketiah instead.

Considering his deal was only a loan, it was a cheap decision but it was the right one.

To put it simply, Leeds didn’t need another winger. Instead, they needed a forward and one capable of scoring goals.

Kent netted six for Rangers in 2018/19, a total that doesn’t even eclipse Jack Harrison’s tally from last term. His goal on the opening weekend has been cited as the reason for why Leeds looked elsewhere in the transfer market.

One of Leeds’ strengths falls in a wide area and throwing £7m at Kent would have been foolish.

After all, this is a Leeds team that is yet to feature Helder Costa from the start in the Championship. It’s also a side that can’t find room for a bright prospect in Jack Clarke. So how would the 22-year-old stand any chance himself?

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Clarke rejoined Leeds on loan after moving to Spurs but has played just twice in the cup competitions and rather ironically is probably the victim of Nketiah’s arrival.

Leeds are only allowed five loans in a matchday squad and the Arsenal man became their sixth.

But truth be told, the club should thank its lucky stars that they turned their focus to a striker. If they hadn’t signed Nketiah and went for Kent instead, it would have been baffling.

Leeds only have two first-team strikers as it is, one of which missed 22 games because of injury last season. A striker was what they needed and a striker was what they got.

Adding another winger wouldn’t have made sense. Thus, Orta’s summer decision was the right one.

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