Leeds made a big mistake by letting Premier League rivals Crystal Palace edge them out of the race for rising talent Eberechi Eze.
The Eagles snapped up the attacking midfielder from Queens Park Rangers during the summer window, landing a deal worth £16million, plus a reported £4million in add-ons (via Sky Sports). He is reportedly earning a respectable £30,000 per week – not a deal that has broken the bank at Selhurst Park by any means.
For Leeds, who didn’t hold back when it came to splashing the cash over the summer, it was an odd decision to let talks with Eze falter.
Particularly at the moment, the Whites would hugely benefit from having a new attacking midfielder as their current roster is under threat. Tyler Roberts was recently predicted to undergo a January loan move and Pablo Hernandez has disappointed Marcelo Bielsa following his blow up during the Leicester game.
Victor Orta has signed some brilliant players for Leeds over the years, but this is a deal that he will be disappointed not to have landed. The 22-year-old has already opened up his account for Crystal Palace, tallying a goal and an assist and proving that he can adapt easily to the high demands of the Premier League.
It’s no surprise though that he has taken to life at his new club so easily as his 2019/20 stats for QPR were astonishing. The midfielder notched a superb 14 goals and eight assists in the Championship, outscoring Jordan Hugill and finishing only behind striker Nahki Wells, who netted 18 for the league campaign, in the QPR top-scorer charts.
These numbers are hugely impressive for a midfielder and the Premier League is currently undergoing a new birthing of playmakers exactly like Eze. With the addition of the likes of Kai Havertz and Bruno Fernandes, England’s top flight is boasting an array of world-class goalscorers from the engine room. Eze could certainly be up there as one of the league’s best if he can recreate last season’s numbers on a consistent basis for Palace.
Mark Warburton heaped praise on the 22-year-old for his contributions to QPR and labelled him as a “tremendous talent”. If Eze does start to really showcase his goalscoring abilities, Bielsa and Orta will have their heads in their hands after missing out on him.