One of Leeds United’s summer decisions is quickly turning out to be an absolute masterstroke from Victor Orta.
Premier League clubs ought to approach the Belgian top-flight with caution and the Yorkshire giants are lucky that they weren’t stung by the same bee as Aston Villa last season.
Throughout the transfer window, the Championship-winners were linked with a swoop for then-Gent talisman Jonathan David – according to GFFN, the Whites failed in their attempts to sign the 20-year-old Canadian.
His sights were always set on Lille, whom he joined in a €30m (£27m) deal in August, and United should be hugely grateful for his decision as they appear to have dodged one massive flop.
In his last two seasons with De Buffalo’s, David scored 37 goals and provided 17 assists so it was no surprise to see interest come for him from the Premier League.
Arsenal, Manchester United and Leicester City were all also mooted with the young striker, as per Goal.
Although the step-up in quality from the Belgian Super League to any of Europe’s elite divisions has been displayed once again.
You only have to look at how badly both Wesley Moraes and Mbwana Sammatta struggled at Villa last season to know why a move for David was a major gamble.
The former has scored only five league goals following a 13-goal campaign with Club Brugge whilst the latter has already been moved on after just one strike for Leeds’ Midlands rivals. He had bagged over 30 goals for Genk across two seasons prior to his PL move.
Now we’re seeing similar with the Canadian international.
David has delivered just one goal in 958 minutes of action (all competitions) for the Ligue 1 outfit and that is hugely surprising given his form in Belgium and previous comments lauding his ability.
His former boss, Hein Vanhaezebrouck, once dubbed him “a phenomenon” and claimed that David was “the best player in the country,” adding: “He will be the most expensive outgoing transfer from Gent. They would happily sell him for £25m or more.”
He may only be 20. but clearly, his raw experience is holding him back, and that’s not something Leeds could’ve given him time to resolve as they will be wanting to stay in the top-flight at all costs.
Plus they have enjoyed Patrick Bamford’s red-hot form thus far, so there’s no guarantee that he would’ve even featured much.
The Whites can count their lucky stars that they didn’t successfully splash the cash on David this summer.
AND in other news, Leeds could land their next Saiz in £18m-rated maestro who “breathes talent”…