A lingering transfer headache that Victor Orta is yet to find success with is how to remedy the left-back problems at Leeds.
Losing Charlie Taylor in Orta’s first summer at the club wasn’t resolved with any quality in the 2017/18 season, but with Marcelo Bielsa at the helm in the next summer, Leeds sourced a Championship winner in Wolves’ Barry Douglas.
The Scottish defender came with a reputation of expert delivery from out wide and from set-pieces, which he showcased on his debut against Stoke City as his pinpoint corner set up Liam Cooper for 3-1.
Do Leeds definitely need a left-back in January?
However, operating in a back four exposed the left-back in a way he was never caught out when playing in Wolves’ back five formation under Nuno Espirito Santo.
Injuries didn’t help him from finding peak form at Leeds, and when Stuart Dallas emerged as the club’s first choice at left-back, no one was going to take that starting place off him.
Promotion to the Premier League saw Douglas claim a second successive winners’ medal as a core part of the dressing room, but a loan to Blackburn Rovers was in store for him in 2020/21, and essentially a goodbye as he had just a year left on his deal.
His value to the Leeds dressing room was exemplified by this open letter from Victor Orta following his exit:
Douglas managed to nail a fairly regular spot at Blackburn, making 30 appearances and notching two assists as Tony Mowbray’s side finished 15th.
After leaving Leeds permanently, Douglas returned to familiar territory with a move to Lech Poznan, a side that he lifted the Ekstraklasa title with back in 2014/15.
The 33-year-old is now in the second year of a two-year deal with the Polish outfit, featuring in the Europa Conference League this season with one appearance, a 4-1 win over Austria Vienna.
Injuries never helped Douglas really kick on at Leeds in a setup that was tailormade for his sort of output from the left flank.