Leeds United and Victor Orta have got a number of transfer decisions right in recent years, with the £17m signing and subsequent £55m sale of Raphinha, the £5m signing of Illan Meslier and the £11m signing of Jack Harrison standing out as three of the director of football’s better deals during his tenure at Elland Road.
However, the Spaniard has also got a few deals wrong in his time in LS11, with the £13m signing of Junior Firpo, the £25m signing of Daniel James and the £16m signing of Helder Costa not particularly representing excellent value for money for the Whites.
And, while many of the Elland Road faithful may well have agreed that Ezgjan Alioski was not quite of the standard required for Premier League football at the time his contract came to an end in the summer of 2021, with the benefit of hindsight, Orta’s call on the versatile left-back now looks to have been something of a nightmare.
Indeed, while the 30-year-old’s return of two goals, three assists and four big chances created was far from disastrous over his 36 Premier League appearances in 2021/22, there was a general feeling that, should Leeds wish to kick on, the club should sign an upgrade on the North Macedonia international.
However, with this upgrade being Firpo – a player who has started just 22 games for the Whites due to a series of injuries, as well as largely disappointing when he has been on the pitch – coupled with Alioski now enjoying something of an Indian summer while on loan at Fenerbahce, perhaps Leeds would have been better off sticking with the left-back.
Indeed, the defender has impressed over his five Super Lig appearances in 2022/23, scoring one goal and helping his side keep one clean sheet, as well as averaging an impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.86.
The player who Alex McLeish once dubbed a “firework” has also caught the eye in the Europa League, starting two of Fenerbahce’s three fixtures in the competition, over which he has averaged a very respectable SofaScore match rating of 6.73.
However, while the £42k-per-week Alioski playing European football will not likely be the cause of too many sleepless nights for Orta, the fact that the player the Spaniard released on a free transfer now has a market valuation of £6m will more than likely come as a gutting blow to the 43-year-old – especially considering Firpo’s struggles both on and off the pitch.