A lot has been made of Victor Orta’s transfer decisions at Leeds over his time at the club since 2017, with promotion and Marcelo Bielsa’s appointment masking over a series of blunders in the market.
So much so that the Spaniard parted ways with the club after the disastrous defeat to Bournemouth, compounding the club’s misery as the relegation battle worsened.
His parting gift was mis-fit transfers in the midst of a huge battle to stay in the Premier League.
Allardyce hammers home Rutter issue
Having scored in the under-21s’ play-off final win on Monday, it was clear that Rutter wasn’t being viewed as a key first-team option under the new manager.
Whether or not that is the right decision is another thing, but it goes to show that the club have placed a lot of faith and money in long-term investments.
Allardyce said this about the Frenchman when asked during his pre-match press conference:
“I don’t know to be honest with you. I have seen him play twice. And obviously as a youngster in the position that we’re in here, it’s a next season scenario for him, what is he going to need to do. He came in in January and I think that he had such a heavy price tag on his shoulders. But I think that when you are young and you come to the Premier League for the first time, you’ve got to settle in and next season would be the big test for him. Because the whole of the Premier League demands much more than ability to be a Premier League player.”
Has Orta got it badly wrong?
It didn’t take a recruitment expert to look at Leeds’ squad in the build-up to January and pinpoint what was needed in the transfer window – a goalscoring striker who could lead the line too.
Max Wöber at £10million was a great start for the defence, and then the signing of Rutter for £36million seemed a decent buy on face value, until it became abundantly clear that he wasn’t fancied for a key role right away.
Rutter is without doubt an extremely talented player who has tied defenders in knots in the Premier League with the limited time he’s been given, which is barely any at all, and there lies the issue that he’s clearly not fancied for the here-and-now.
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Javi Gracia wasn’t keen to bring him into the side much, and then Allardyce has deemed him as someone who needs to wait for 2023/24 for chances in the side.
Meanwhile, fans are perplexed at how Orta had a club-record budget to work with for a striker, and came to the conclusion that a long-term project signing was a better idea than someone who could hit the ground running right away.
For example, sources indicated to Leeds All Over that Coventry City’s Viktor Gyokeres was of interest in January – since the closure of the window, the Swedish powerhouse has managed nine goals and seven assists to help fire his side to the play-off final.
We wanted an instant impact through a sensible and logical signing, but we’re left with a lasting reminder that Orta was never interested in such a transfer at Leeds, and it’s costing us so dearly.