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Leeds Director Victor Orta deserves praise after painstaking Eddie Nketiah chase

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This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

If there was one word to describe Leeds pursuit of Eddie Nketiah this summer it would be painstaking.

This was a player Leeds needed and seemingly would stop at nothing to land him.

The Whites needed a striker or else there they were left staring at just one option in attack, Patrick Bamford.

Leeds’ initial interest spawned during the final week of the window but Bristol City first appeared as the lead candidate to sign the Arsenal striker on a temporary basis.

The forward was even set for a medical. However, after meeting with Arsenal, Leeds convinced the 20-year-old to swap north London for west Yorkshire.

It was a thorough process but they eventually got their man in what must have felt like an interview in front of Alan Sugar on the Apprentice.

Sat in front of Arsenal officials was Victor Orta, Leeds’ Director of Football, who managed to sell the club well. The rest they say, is history.

Nketiah is now a Leeds boy, albeit on a temporary basis, but he’s already got off to the perfect start after netting on his debut against Salford.

Leeds had to make a long pitch for why their club would be best for his development and after Unai Emery had previously revealed he wanted the player to stay around the first-team picture, something this meticulous was hardly surprising.

Also at London Colney in a bid to tie up a move was Bristol City’s Lee Johnson and a member of the hierarchy at Fortuna Dusseldorf.

A move to Germany would have been feasible after he nearly joined Augsburg last summer. Arsenal youngsters Emile Smith-Rowe and Reiss Nelson were also granted opportunities in the Bundesliga last season so a move across Europe wasn’t beyond the realms of fantasy.

Following the progression of Jadon Sancho, a trailblazer for English footballers abroad, it may have seemed like a very promising proposition for Nketiah.

However, the very fact that he and the club chose Leeds instead demonstrates just how well Orta did with this deal.

He showed that Leeds is a place to develop and on the evidence of his first match, he seems well placed for a productive term at Elland Road.

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Orta hasn’t always done the right thing and it may have seemed questionable to sell an asset such as Pontus Jansson for as cheap as they did.

But the sheer hard work that went into tying up this loan move has gone some way to fixing some key departures this summer. For that he deserves praise.

This was a masterstroke from Orta and Leeds could well be a club now at the front of Arsenal’s minds when determining where to send their top young prodigies.

If their Director of Football can do it once with Nketiah, he can surely do it again.

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Article title: Leeds Director Victor Orta deserves praise after painstaking Eddie Nketiah chase

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