Leeds United were linked with a host of left-backs in the summer transfer window, however, when September’s deadline came and went, Jesse Marsch remained with the same left-sided defenders he had at the end of last season.
And, while Pascal Struijk has been something of a surprise package in the position while filling in for Junior Firpo, the argument that Victor Orta simply must target a new left-sided full-back in January is an extremely easy one to make.
Indeed, after missing 13 Premier League fixtures due to injury last season, as well as averaging an extremely disappointing SofaScore match rating of just 6.60 when he was on the pitch, the £13m signing has once again spent the vast majority of the current campaign on the sidelines, in addition to averaging a disastrous SofaScore match rating of a mere 6.30.
Furthermore, while Stuart Dallas is expected to make a return from his fractured femur at the turn of the year, with the Northern Irishman having not kicked a ball in over six months, it will undoubtedly take the 31-year-old a good while to return to full match fitness.
As such, with the Whites having been linked with a move for KRC Genk left-back Gerardo Arteaga in the summer transfer window, it would appear an extremely wise move for Orta to finally launch an official offer for the 24-year-old this winter.
Indeed, the £4.4m-rated talent has highly impressed over his 16 Jupiler Pro League appearances this season, helping his side keep four clean sheets, as well as making an average of 2.1 interceptions, 1.9 tackles, one clearance and winning 4.4 duels – at a success rate of 55% – per game.
The Mexico international has also impressed going forwards, having already scored two goals, registered one assist and created one big chance for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 0.6 shots, making 0.6 key passes and completing 0.8 dribbles per game.
These returns have seen the 17-cap international average a very respectable SofaScore match rating of 6.87, currently ranking him as Genk’s joint 13th-best performer in the top flight of Belgian football.
Furthermore, with Arteaga set to star at the Qatar World Cup later this month with Mexico, should the 24-year-old go on to explode with a number of eye-catching displays on the biggest stage football has to offer, he will undoubtedly rekindle major interest in his services this winter.
As such, considering just how exciting a talent the player who has earned comparisons to Roberto Carlos very much appears to be, coupled with Leeds’ struggles at left-back, it would indeed seem a very wise move for Orta to start laying the groundwork down on a move for the Arteaga in January – as the Mexican sensation could well be the answer to Marsch’s prayers in the position.