When Leeds United agreed a £20m deal to sign Michael Cuisance from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2020, it very much appeared as if the Whites would be welcoming one of the most exciting young midfielders in world football to Elland Road.
Indeed, expectations for the France youth international were quite high, with former Borussia Monchengladbach coach Dieter Hecking stating of the then-21-year-old: “Michael is an exceptional player for his age. He’s a game-changer.”
Meanwhile, Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic also praised the youngster very highly, saying of the playmaker: “Michael’s strengths are in his possession of the ball. He has a great technique, a strong left foot and a great mentality.”
As such, when Victor Orta’s move for Cuisance allegedly fell through as a result of a failed medical, many supporters of Leeds would have been extremely disappointed.
However, a little over 18 months later, it now appears as if the Premier League side dodged a substantial bullet on the midfielder, who has rather dramatically regressed in the meantime.
Indeed, following his failed switch to Elland Road, Cuisance subsequently secured a temporary move to Marseille, with the Ligue 1 side possessing an option to purchase the Frenchman.
However, after a disappointing season with Les Phoceens – he averaged a SofaScore match rating of just 6.45 over his 23 league outings, ranking him as the club’s third-worst player in the division out of 31 – Jorge Sampaoli decided against signing the midfielder permanently, with the Argentine claiming that the youngster possessed something of an attitude problem.
After returning to Bayern last summer, the Bundesliga side once again made it clear that Cuisance was free to leave the club, with Serie A outfit Venezia eventually landing the 22-year-old in a £3.6m deal.
However, things do not appear to have improved for the £32k-per-week midfielder in Italy either, with the Frenchman averaging a SofaScore match rating of just 6.51 over his seven league fixtures this season, ranking him as his team’s joint-seventh worst performer in the Italian top flight out of 34.
As such, considering his rather poor level of performance – in addition to the player who Markus Babbel dubbed a “rotten egg” and “not the brightest” now being valued at just £4.5m by Transfermarkt – it is clear to see just how lucky Orta and Leeds were in missing out on the £20m signing of Cuisance in the autumn of 2020.