Victor Orta has had an incredible redemption arc at Leeds over the past 12 months or so.
The Spaniard has gone from being the subject of much criticism to being the man of the hour amongst the Leeds fanbase, and while it’s great to see the tables turning like this, it has to be said that the original complaints were warranted.
Orta had a dangerous knack of leaving things too late in the transfer window, and with Marcelo Bielsa often giving his new signings a lot of time to bed in and learn his training regimes and tactics, this was a strategy that often backfired.
Eddie Nketiah wasn’t given a start until December after joining on deadline day last summer, Jean-Kevin Augustin never got up to speed after joining late in January, while the infamous Daniel James deal never got over the line due to the fact Leeds left it too late.
Fortunately, the Spaniard seems to have learnt from these mistakes, getting most of Leeds’ business done early this time around, and while a couple of late signings are still expected, the squad is largely built, and that was more important than ever this season.
Leeds had two very winnable games in the opening weeks of the season against both Fulham and Sheffield United, and they managed to get the job done on both of those occasions, with their new signings proving to be the heroes on both occasions.
Illan Meslier, who signed on a permanent deal this summer, was lauded as the hero on Sunday, while Helder Costa’s brace secured the points for United against Fulham.
These two had already been at the club for a year on loan deals before making permanent switches, and they may not have been able to have such an impact if United instead opted for a whole host of fresh faces this summer.
Bielsa’s way of operating means that new signings need to learn the system before earning a starting berth, and in positions that were in desperate need for reinforcement, Orta made sure business was done early, with Rodrigo and Robin Koch signed in late August, weeks before the campaign kicked off.
It’s taken a number of attempts to kick the habit of leaving it late, but Orta has finally got it right this time around.
In other news, one Leeds loanee showed exactly what he can do last weekend.