Former Scotland boss Alex McLeish has raved about Leeds United’s recruitment over the course of the summer transfer window.
While Marcelo Bielsa’s side may have only had a quiet window in terms of first-team incomings with the likes of Junior Firpo and Dan James joining, they did however do more business in bolstering their U23s squad, and it’s something McLeish has voiced his approval about.
He said: “Great development is terrific but you don’t bring ordinary players to the club. There has to be a talent in spotting them in the first place. There has to be an assessment of if these kids have great potential.
“That they were the standouts that they (talent spotters) saw at their level of under-16 or under-15s or even before that. Some of them join academies at the age of nine or ten.
“It can be a very long process but they are really singled out quite early in their football careers. It seems that at Leeds, the recruitment has been brilliant.”
According to Transfermarkt, Leeds signed four new players to add to their club’s already talented group of U23s players, including the likes of Lewis Bate from Chelsea, Amari Miller from Birmingham City, Sean McGurk from Wigan and Leo Hjelde from Celtic.
That of course followed on from the summer of 2020 when Bielsa’s side brought in the likes of Sam Greenwood, Crysencio Summerville and Joe Gelhardt among others – all of whom were features in the U23s Premier League Division 2 success last season.
As McLeish says, the Whites are making a conscious effort to ensure that they are spotting talent way before they really burst onto the scene and make their mark, at which point it becomes far more difficult to sign them as there will be lots more competition, and far more costlier too.
The signings Leeds have made, have all been for very minimal fees which ensures that really, whatever the case, they either stand to make a big profit, or watch them turn into first-team players for Bielsa’s senior side themselves.
In either case, the Whites’ transfer strategy is one that should be applauded, and McLeish’s verdict is sure to have fans absolutely buzzing.