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Leeds: Erling Haaland will be haunting them forever

The Leeds United era of Andrea Radrizzani and Victor Orta has been one plagued with transfer mistakes left, right and centre.

Of course, there have been success stories too, namely in the likes of Patrick Bamford, Raphinha and Jack Harrison.

However, too often there has been an instance where a player like Jay-Roy Grot, Pawel Cibicki or Vurnon Anita have come along.

Most recently, the acquisition of Rodrigo has also somewhat backfired on them. Currently the club’s record signing, he only has 11 goals in 53 outings to show for his enormous £26m fee.

It was an eye-catching signing at the time but had Leeds secured one piece of business back in 2019, they wouldn’t have had any need for the Spanish attacker.

Numerous bits of business continue to haunt Orta at Elland Road but their decision not to sign Erling Haaland has to go down as a blunder.

Who would you rather have at Leeds?

Raphinha

Raphinha

Haaland

Haaland

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, of course, but they will be ruing both their lack of finances and Championship status for a failed move.

The son of Alf-Inge Haaland, Erling was born in the city of Leeds and is a famed supporter of the Yorkshire club.

With that in mind,  the Norwegian was essentially gift-wrapped and tailor-made for the Whites. Instead, they ignored his £4m asking price and he eventually signed for RB Salzburg.

Speaking previously about the situation, reporter Phil Hay commented: “Leeds had a go at Haaland but he wouldn’t have been instead of Bamford.”

But how and why did their interest come about? Agent Hayden Evans has the story.

“We spoke to Victor [Orta] and said, ‘Look, I can bring Erling to Leeds and the rest will be over to you’. The best proof you can have [that a player wants to join] is to physically bring a player into the club, so we said we can do that.

“We brought Alfie and Erling over to stay at Oulton Hall, which had been like a second home for Alfie when he first came to Leeds. We got them in, we’re talking about Leeds United, took him to meet Victor, [and] Victor already had the Leeds United shirt already made up with ‘Haaland’ on the back.”

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He is currently the club-record signing...

Evans concluded: “Victor being Victor thought there’s a way around this – he would contact Juventus because he knew the guys there and do a deal with them where he would be loaned back to Leeds, developed at Leeds United, with an option [to buy] him and all that, but it never quite worked.”

The youngster was not a household name by any means at the time but since a move to Leeds fell through and he went to Austria in a £7.2m move, he has become nothing short of a sensation.

Haaland bagged 29 goals in 27 outings for Salzburg before swiftly moving to Borussia Dortmund a year later.

His record in Germany has been equally as impressive registering 80 strikes and 21 assists in just 79 appearances. As a result, the 21-year-old’s market value continues to soar and according to Transfermarkt, he is now rated at a mind-blowing £135m.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that he was dubbed a “goal-scoring cyborg” by reporter Alex Truica and as a “one-man wrecking ball” by Gregor Robertson.

His languid but powerful play style is one of the most unique in the game, combining raw speed with a frightening leap and devastating finishing ability to become one of the best centre-forwards in world football.

Consequently, if Haaland was now in the Leeds ranks, they may well be staring at a scenario where they aren’t fighting relegation.

Instead, they will be made to rue an unfortunate call three years ago as they struggle near the foot of the division.

AND in other news, Released by Bielsa, already has 12 G/A: Leeds machine is shining away from Elland Road…

Article title: Leeds: Erling Haaland will be haunting them forever

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