This season is shaping up to be another dismal one for Leeds United with Jesse Marsch becoming sick of the sight of losing.
After beating Chelsea back in August, this season was supposed to be different for the Yorkshire club but it has not worked out that way.
Patrick Bamford has had his injury problems again and it looks as though the sales of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha in the same window has done them few favours.
That simply doesn’t happen to Jurgen Klopp’s team but Rodrigo and Crysencio Summerville were both on form to take three points back to Elland road.
For the Dutchman, it was undoubtedly the best moment of his career to date and he will now be hoping to emulate the aforementioned Raphinha.
His arrival on the scene has been timely and is rather coincidental with recent claims suggesting Leeds’ chase of Summerville’s compatriot, Cody Gakpo, is essentially dead in the water with the Dutch menace now one of the most feared players on the continent.
Indeed, the PSV star has had a staggering season so far that has seen him register a jaw-dropping 13 goals and 16 assists in 22 outings.
Form like that will likely take him to the world’s elite but Victor Orta could rescue Marsch’s side by identifying a suitable alternative.
One suggestion of late has been that of Noah Okafor with recent reports claiming Leeds are one of the teams taking an interest in the RB Salzburg forward.
The 22-year-old is a dynamic talent and would be a superb addition to the Leeds ranks, particularly if he can follow in the footsteps of Erling Haaland, a man who like Okafor has torn the Austrian Bundesliga to shreds.
There is plenty in common between the two, much more than just the Austrian club, with Marsch having managed them both in his coaching career.
The current Salzburg livewire has made a real name for himself and it’s in 2022/23 that he’s begun to become more of a household name.
He has found the net on nine occasions this season with 1/3 of those strikes coming in the Champions League.
Those three goals have ensured that only Haaland has scored more in Europe’s elite competition for the Red Bull club.
Clearly blessed with immense talent, both players were scouted by the great Christoph Freund, a layer that adds further substance to the comparison at hand.
In the words of talent scout, Jacek Kulig, the young forward is “simply phenomenal” and as a consequence, it might not be long before he’s settling down in Leeds.
Such an eventuality, however, will likely fall by the wayside unless Orta can lure him away from other prying eyes.
Interest in Okafor is high and with a World Cup around the corner he looks set to take Qatar by storm. The Switzerland international is already in “crazy form” in the words of Kulig and with two goals in eight caps, he’s hit the ground running positively for his nation.
Many already know his name but he could truly announce himself on the world stage over the winter as he looks to put himself in the shop window ahead of January by enjoying a ‘crazy’ tournament.
Leeds, however, will hope that he doesn’t impress too much and their pursuit, as it did with Gakpo, doesn’t become impossible.
The attacker is one of the finest young talents in the game but Leeds could be a happy stepping stone for the Swiss. After all, Marsch has shown recently that he’s willing to trust in youth – just ask Summerville.
Okafor should also be comforted by the fact that he already has a relationship with the American manager. He was his coach at Salzburg when he arrived and under the 48-year-old’s tutelage, the bustling attacker scored ten times in 44 outings.
There is so much to like about the 6 foot 1 striker and Haaland is already a shining example that investing in those plying their trade in Austria is a wise idea. Over to you, Orta.