Saturday, January 28, 2023

Orta faces Costa repeat as Leeds eye swoop for £55k-p/w flop who's a “sacking player” – opinion

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Leeds United will no doubt be plotting to strengthen their ranks in the January transfer window, with manager Jesse Marsch in need of a boost in his quest to steer the Elland Road outfit away from danger.

One man whom sporting director Victor Orta is believed to be keen on bringing to the club in the New Year is Wolverhampton Wanderers winger, Adama Traore, with 90min reporting that the Whites are admirers of the 26-year-old.

The explosive forward – who spent the second half of last season on loan at Barcelona – is facing an uncertain future at Molineux at present, with just six months remaining on his current deal with the Old Gold.

That fact may well have piqued Orta’s interest even further, with the Yorkshire side having the chance to land the Spaniard for a potential cut-price deal next month, or on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Quite whether it would be an astute move is another matter, however, with the former Aston Villa winger having hardly pulled up any trees during his time in the Midlands, despite his undeniably eye-catching physical attributes.

The £55k-per-week machine is an undoubtedly ferocious and menacing asset with the ball at his feet – showcased by the fact that he ranks in the top 2% in Europe among those in his position for dribbles completed – although too often has his end product let him down.

Those woes in the final third are illustrated by the fact that the eight-cap flop has scored only nine goals and registered just 14 assists in 173 Premier League appearances to date, with that a rather measly return for any attacker.

As experienced coach Sam Allardyce previously suggested, Traore is something of a “sacking player” due to his tendency to let managers down, with his “inconsistency” having been a regular concern over the years.

Equally, those at Leeds may well be fearful of getting stung once again with the signing of a Wolves winger, having previously seen their decision to sign Angolan dynamo Helder Costa from Molineux backfire.

The latter man was snapped up on an initial loan deal back in the summer of 2019, going on to feature 46 times in the following, promotion-winning campaign under Marcelo Bielsa, scoring four goals and registering six assists in the second tier.

That respectable return saw Orta and co opt to strike a permanent agreement at the end of the season for a reported fee of around £16m, albeit that move having backfired as Costa has since underwhelmed in the top flight.

Having scored just three goals and provided only three assists in the league during the 2020/21 season, the 5 foot 10 dud was then shipped on loan to Valencia for the following campaign, before joining Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad on another temporary deal over the summer.

While still on the books at Elland Road, it looks unlikely that the 28-year-old will have a role to play for his parent club moving forward, with Leeds likely left to rue their decision to sign him in the first place.

To then repeat that error by bringing in another mercurial talent from Wolves in the form of Traore would be a real blunder as far as Orta is concerned, with the Whites better served looking elsewhere to find new recruits in 2023.




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