While Leeds United’s 2022/23 campaign is still in an embryonic state at present, Victor Orta’s business in the summer transfer window already looks to have had a largely positive impact on Jesse Marsch’s side.
Indeed, summer signings Marc Roca, Tyler Adams, Rasmus Kristensen, Luis Sinisterra and Brenden Aaronson all currently rank in the Whites’ top 12 performers in the Premier League this season, while the additions of Sonny Perkins, Darko Gyabi and Wilfried Gnonto add further depth to the club’s already impressive youth setup at Thorp Arch.
However, while the Spanish director of football did manage to strengthen the vast majority of the positions which required attention this summer, there is one area of the pitch in which Marsch still remains short of choice – left-back.
And, when taking into account it was reported that Orta was considering submitting a bid for Borussia Dortmund’s Raphael Guerreiro – whom the Bundesliga side are believed to value at around €25m (£21m) – coupled with how impressive the 28-year-old has been for Edin Terzic’s side so far this season, the Spaniard’s decision not to move for the Portugal international already looks to have been something of a shocker.
Indeed, over his five league fixtures in 2022/22, the £22.5m-rated full-back has been in exceptional attacking form, having already scored one goal and created one big chance for his teammates, as well as completing an average of 40.4 passes, one dribble, taking one shot and making 0.8 key passes per game.
The £58k-per-week defender, who Terzic dubbed “amazing“, has also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 2.4 tackles, 2.4 interceptions, 0.8 clearances and winning 4.2 duels – at a success rate of 64% – per appearance.
These returns have seen the 28-year-old average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.08, ranking him as Dortmund’s second-best performing outfielder – behind only Jude Bellingham – so far this season.
Furthermore, the left-back also caught the eye during BVB’s 3-0 Champions League demolition of FC Kobenhavn last week, enjoying a whopping 88 touches of the ball, as well as making five tackles, two interceptions, one key pass, winning nine of his 11 duels and applying the finishing touch to an extremely well worked Dortmund move to give his side a two-goal lead.
These metrics saw the Portugal international average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 8.4 for his efforts, ranking him as the best player from either side to feature in the match.
As such, with both Junior Firpo and Stuart Dallas yet to make an appearance for Leeds this season as a result of injury, exactly why Orta decided not to pull the trigger on a move for Guerreiro appears a stranger decision with every passing day – as the Dortmund sensation would have appeared well worth his reported £21m asking price for the Whites.