Leeds United’s transfer recruitment team have come under a lot of criticism in recent years. Namely, Andrea Radrizzani and Victor Orta have been in the crosshairs of Whites fans when they want to express their anger at the club.
One area of the club’s recruitment which can’t be faulted though is the scouting team.
The scouts at Elland Road have done a fantastic job of picking out talent in recent years. The arrivals of the likes of Pontus Jansson, Pablo Hernandez and Mateusz Klich all have to be commended.
But a player who they didn’t end up bringing in has to be given the label of their greatest find to date.
Daniel James had all but signed on the dotted line at Thorp Arch on deadline day in January, only for the deal to collapse at the last minute.
Any frustrations directed at Orta and Radrizzani would be justified as James may have been the player to get Leeds into the top two this season.
The winger is now being linked to the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool, and the hierarchy at the club must be kicking themselves for allowing him to slip through their fingers.
Although the deal for the Swansea winger didn’t come off, the scouting team have to be given credit for identifying a target who would go on to be targeted by some of the biggest clubs in the world.
If Leeds are to establish themselves as a force in English football once again, they need to continue with this policy of unearthing gems before they hit the big time.
The Yorkshire club have recently been linked with Forest Green Rovers midfielder Reece Brown, who seems to have all the capabilities to one day become a top player.
Marcelo Bielsa’s club may deserve a lot of the criticism headed their way when it comes to transfers, and missing out on James may prove to be a colossal blunder.
You can’t fault the men in charge of identifying potential targets, and perhaps this could be the wake-up call the higher-ups need to close out deals effectively in the future.