Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa may have made a big mistake during the January transfer window after new reports surfaced from a very reliable source…
According to Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Graham Smyth, the Whites were offered the chance to sign Donny van de Beek of Manchester United and Harry Winks of Tottenham Hotspur on loan last month.
The Dutchman instead joined top-flight rivals, Everton, on deadline day, linking up with their new manager Frank Lampard for the remainder of the season, whilst the Englishman remained in north London having seen more game time under Antonio Conte recently.
It’s thought that, after discussions with the Argentine, Leeds decided to not pursue either player – perhaps a baffling decision after failing in their attempts to sign Brenden Aaronson from RB Salzburg, who rejected two bids of £15m and £20m, as per reports.
It means an eighth window has passed without the Yorkshire giants signing a new midfielder – when Adam Forshaw was signed from Middlesbrough back in 2018.
Evidently, the club have tried to sign reinforcements in the engine room for quite some time. In 2020, a move for Michael Cuisance fell through after his medical, whilst in the summer Chelsea gem Conor Gallagher rejected a switch to Elland Road in favour of nearby Crystal Palace.
And then they tried for Aaronson throughout last month, as mentioned above.
After letting the long-serving Pablo Hernandez leave before the season, Bielsa has certainly lacked a creative influence in the final third – something that would have made van de Beek a perfect short-term signing.
He’s never really been given a fair crack at Old Trafford since his £35m move from Ajax.
But during that final campaign, the 24-year-old dynamo scored eight goals, registered five assists and created six big chances across 23 Eredivisie appearances, also putting up an average of 1.9 shots and making 1.8 key passes per game, via SofaScore.
“He’s got qualities in there to unlock close defences,” once claimed former United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Bielsa and Orta’s failure to lure a new creative midfielder to West Yorkshire could seriously stunt their progress this season and the prospect of battling relegation isn’t out of the realms of possibility just yet.
This could well be a huge howler from the Leeds icon.