Victor Orta and Ivan Bravo have been hard at work since being recruited by new owner Andrea Radrizzani. Orta was part of a famous scouting system that unearthed foreign and local talents at Sevilla and he, along with others at Leeds are now changing the landscape in Leeds United’s famous academy.
Local talent is always a source of first-team players at Leeds United. Baily Peacock-Farrell, Ronaldo Vieira, Tyler Denton and Kalvin Phillips are all around the first-team squad at the moment although a couple may leave to go on loan in the coming weeks. Lewis Cook, Sam Byram and Charlie Taylor have all left for the Premier League for the best part of £20 million (with Taylor’s tribunal set to be around £5m according to reports) and Alex Mowatt has also departed to Barnsley in the past couple of years. Lewie Coyle has signed a new deal with the club and headed for a loan spell with ex-boss Uwe Rosler at Fleetwood in League One. These are the names that have been involved recently and Leeds have a proud tradition of bring through local talent, and hope to carry that on in the future.
The under 23 team took a bit of a dive the last few years as players many went into the first team and some of the new recruits didn’t quite find their feet, and still haven’t. The McKay twins arrived with a good reputation but haven’t made an impact and that goes with others too. In the last few days Leeds have recruited some young talent from the youth ranks of Spain, including both Barcelona and Real Madrid. Ousama Siddiki, Kun Temenuzhkov, Alejandro Machuca, Adrian Balboa and Magdar Gomes have all arrived in the last few weeks to add quality to the development side, although they will probably think that pushing for a first-team spot could be within their reach in the coming seasons. Some of the deals may not pay off but hopefully others will and we have found some gems via the new scouting system.
News was also filtering through that Leeds have appointed a “Head Of Youth Development” for Asia, going by the name of Toshiya Fujita. It is another investment made by Andrea Radrizzani and Leeds United that could reap rewards at some point in the future. It’s about laying down foundations abroad as well as at home and hopefully nurturing foreign talent rather than paying for it every summer. Leeds have also given professional deals to a large number of English players currently in the academy hoping some of them will break into the first-team in the not so distant future. One thing is certain, this is a long-term project now and plans are beginning to be set in motion from various areas of the club.