When you think of Andrea Radrizzani’s transfer business in the early days of his tenure at Elland Road, there are some horrific examples.
Think Pawel Cibicki, Laurens De Bock or even Jay-Roy Grot.
The latter arrived at Leeds with plenty of potential. The Dutchman had scored goals on a regular basis in the Eredivise for NEC Nijmegen as a teenager, netting five times for them in the top-flight of Dutch football.
It was an eye-catching tally for his age but to say he hasn’t lived up to expectation at Leeds would be putting things lightly.
The 22-year-old has made one start for United, appearing 19 times as a substitute and scoring just once. Grot has never played under Marcelo Bielsa but is still somehow on their books.
Unfortunately, Victor Orta could be about to discover a player with similar qualities.
That happens to be Mainz forward Jean-Philippe Mateta. The striker was linked with the club courtesy of Football Insider earlier this week but he has only proven himself in one season so far, similarly to Grot.
Yet, there are more convincing comparisons. The pair of them are both 6 foot 4 and thus, have the ability to battle hard in the air. The duo are tough to beat in physical situations but alarmingly, they lack consistency.
Grot has only scored eight league goals in the last two seasons, while Mateta has just ten to his name. Of course, we are midway through a current campaign so the Frenchman has plenty to improve on but their contrasting styles and fortunes make for grim reading.
Mateta is a colossal figure and has been described as someone with “impressive athletic potential”, but that doesn’t mean he’d be a good signing for Leeds. His pass success rate, like Grot’s, is below 70% and in a possession-based side, he’d surely struggle.
Bielsa likes players capable of linking up and joining the play together. Mateta, who earns £30k-a-week, is not the man Orta should be considering in January. There are surely better alternatives.
They cannot afford to make the same kind of mistakes Radrizzani made all of those years ago. Leeds United are a Premier League team now – not battling for mid-table positions in the Championship.