One of Leeds United’s top priorities this summer was to sign a striker, and they spared no expense in making sure they strengthened in that area, splashing out £27m to sign Rodrigo from Valencia.
The Spaniard cost a club-record fee this summer, and while United can be happy with their striker acquisition, they could have saved that cash if they’d have done the right thing back in 2019.
Before Nketiah went back to Arsenal, Marcelo Bielsa expressed his desire to keep the forward on loan at the club for the 2020/21 season, and if United still had Nketiah, they could have saved the £27m they spent on Rodrigo.
Now, we’re not about to argue that Arsenal’s third-choice striker is better than Spain’s number nine, but it is worth considering that Nketiah has more goals in all competitions than him this season and his minutes per goal record in the Premier League last term was better than Rodrigo’s in La Liga.
£27m is a lot of money, and it had to be spent on a striker this summer because Patrick Bamford was the Whites’ only option heading into this season, but that money could have been put towards something else if United still had Nketiah.
Of course, the Yorkshire outfit would still have needed a striker in 2021 in this hypothetical scenario, but they would likely have had another year of Premier League revenue and perhaps a stronger spine behind them to fix their striker woes.
It’s certainly interesting to imagine what Leeds’ squad would look like right now if Bielsa’s original plan to keep Nketiah for the 2020/21 season had come to fruition.