Leeds United have had mixed success in the transfer market under director of football Victor Orta.
Since the Spaniard joined the Yorkshire outfit back in May 2017, following his departure from then-Championship rivals Middlesbrough, Elland Road has seen its fair share of absolute flops, as well as the odd diamond in the rough.
A couple to fall into the latter category include Raphinha, who has already moved onto pastures new at FC Barcelona, and current no.1, Illan Meslier, who is being lined up by Tottenham Hotspur as a potential successor to his French compatriot, Hugo Lloris.
But for every little gem, there have been a handful of disasters, epitomised by a recent story emerging in the media this week.
The likes of Jay-Roy Grot, Ouasim Bouy and Laurens De Bock are among Orta’s poorest bits of business but none have been as financially crippling as Jean-Kevin Augustin, who Leeds have been ordered to pay around £18m for after their appeal was dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), as per the BBC.
FIFA had ruled in July that the Premier League side must honour their ‘purchase obligation’ for the 25-year-old striker, who is now plying his trade at Swiss giants Basel, having stumbled at Nantes after leaving Elland Road.
CAS upheld that decision “in its entirety” and ordered the Whites to pay their first instalment, thought to be around £5.9m and whilst they intend to launch another appeal, they could be chasing a lost cause in what has been an utter nightmare signing under Orta.
Augustin played only 48 minutes across three appearances in a Leeds shirt. He managed just three shots, of which none were on target, and made a total of five passes, so for £18m, the Yorkshire club will have to pay Leipzig for £6m per outing, £6m per shot and £3.6m per pass.
Whatever the likes of De Bock and Grot failed to do for the club, they weren’t signed in as wretched financial deals as this one.
It’s a situation that has been lambasted by TEAMtalk editor James Marshment as an “absolute disaster,” also claiming that “someone should make themselves accountable there.”
Meanwhile, football finance expert Kieran Maguire has also chimed in with his thoughts on the matter. He told Football Insider:
“Leeds will have to pay interest on top of the cash flows that have been agreed for the transfer itself. That is not an insignificant sum of money and this is far from an ideal situation for Leeds to find themselves in.”
All in all, the signing of Augustin has proven to be a complete catastrophe for all those concerned and on the above evidence, it could well be the worst call that Orta has ever made whilst at the helm.