Victor Orta is one of the most discussed people at the club currently. He has been brought in to run all things football, from the signings and academy through to the coaching staff. That doesn’t mean that Andrea Radrizzani doesn’t have a say but it’s very clear that Orta has the most influential role in the playing side of things.

There is little doubt that Orta is well connected and his scouting department are ever-expanding at Leeds United but his success rate hasn’t been good so far. Andrea Radrizzani assured fans in a recent interview that the plan is to recruit from the UK more going forward which will be music to the ears of Leeds fans. You do need to invest in foreign players and we will this summer, but you already have players in this country, including foreign players who can be signed if you get the right deal. Orta has to get it right this summer because he is already seriously under pressure, and we know that when Leeds fans feel like they aren’t getting what they deserve, they make it very clear. Juts bare in mid that these assessments are based on their performance until this point, they could come good and the good players might not last.

Orta’s Signings Assessed

Felix Wiedwald – The German keeper started so well at the club. Clean sheets were coming every week and his ability to distribute the ball all over the park was refreshing and exciting. Since those early days the mistakes have come, and are now very regular. His confidence is shot and the command of his area and defence are long gone. Fair to say a new keeper is needed.

Verdict – Miss

Hadi Sacko – There is a question mark over whether or not the signing of Hadi Sacko falls under the umbrella of Victor Orta but either way it was Andrea Radrizzani who decided to sign him so Orta will probably have had some influence. Sacko has bags of raw ability but nobody has managed to harness that in two years. Can Heckingbottom? Many have already made their minds up on Sacko, it’s a case of love him or hate him and most aren’t expecting him to be around for much longer.

Verdict – Miss

Pierre-Michel Lasogga – Replacing Chris Wood was never going to be easy and that has proved harder than what the club anticipated. Lasogga arrived on loan from Hamburg and started very well before dropping off worryingly. Since the turn of the year he has kicked on again and most fans would agree that Lasogga has been a success at the club. One of the best goals to minutes ratio and a striker who, when fit could be lethal at this level. Can we sign him permanently? Orta said “possible”, his wages of over £50k per week say very, very unlikely.

Verdict – Hit

Matthew Pennington – Arrived on loan from Everton and was the one player who we thought could come in and take the place of Kyle Bartley who returned to Swansea. He hasn’t even got near that role, injuries and some terrible performances have meant that signing him would be a big surprise, although apparently we do want a deal for him in the summer. It wouldn’t go down very well, hasn’t had many good games.

Verdict – Miss

Pawel Cibicki – A strange season for the Swedish winger, or forward, we don’t really know. Just when you though he had got and seized his chance before Christmas he then drifted out after some shocking performances against the likes of Birmingham and Newport County. Hasn’t had a sniff since Heckingbottom arrived, on his way in the summer perhaps?

Verdict – Miss

Gjanni Alioski – The most expensive summer signing. Alioksi arrived from Lugano and arrived with excitement and intrigue in equal measure as fans craved a look at the winger. He started very well but he began to frustrate fans with some performances that left us wondering how good he actually was. Has recently improved under Heckingbottom but you can’t say either way if it has been a successful deal or not. Jury is out on this one, but will almost certainly be around next season for the judgement to be ruled over him.

Verdict – Needs Time To Develop

Laurens De Bock – Seemed to start very well but if you look at the stats then you see he is yet to be in the squad in any game we have won since his arrival. His performance against Derby was very worrying indeed and he hasn’t been involved since. We can’t make a call on him yet, but we will know more by the end of the season. Certainly hasn’t hit the ground running.

Verdict – Undecided

Tyler Roberts – £2.5 million signing Roberts is a highly rated young striker who was wanted by various clubs before Leeds got the deal done. Cracked his shin in training and hasn’t kicked a ball yet. Leeds that.

Verdict – N/A

Samu Saiz – Will be the player of the year without much doubt. Arrived and scored a hat-trick on his debut, carries us most games and the season went belly up when he spat on a Newport player and was suspended for six games. This is a signing that Ort and Radrizzani will cling to when questioned about recruitment, the fact is, he needs better players around him and they haven’t provided that.

Verdict – Hit

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – The Manchester United full-back is one of the most bizarre signings I’ve seen at Leeds for a while. Talented and started well, the best player on his league debut against Preston North End then dropped for no apparent reason and left out nearly every week until his loan was terminated. Heckingbottom May have seen him differently, we’ll never know.

Verdict – Miss

Matesuz Klich – The central midfielder is having a very good start to life back in the Netherlands after being forced to leave Leeds in January. I look at one person in this situation, Thomas Christiansen. Klich has ability and never got a chance. I can only hope he gets a chance during the summer because the likes of Eunan O’Kane and Kalvin Phillips aren’t giving us anything. A failed signing, but maybe not at the door of Victor Orta on this occasion.

Verdict – Miss, Needs A Chance

Adam Forshaw – Already one of the best signings of the season and this is where the hope comes back. Is there a change is strategy from January? Forshaw is a quality player, we paid £3 million up front with £1.5 million in add-ons so we looked into players who can hit the ground running. A promising signing, but we need more like him. Captain material.

Verdict – Hit

Jay-Roy Grot – One that doesn’t need much introduction because he was the spearhead of many fans anger when things began to go wrong.

Verdict – Miss

Andy Lonergan – A replacement for Rob Green and one that needed to be good in hindsight because Felix Wiedwald isn’t good enough. Lonergan left Leeds years ago and wasn’t good enough then and isn’t good enough to be the first-team keeper now. Not his fault but we should have kept Rob Green at any cost. When Lonergan did get into the side he ended up making some howlers.

Verdict – Miss

Caleb Ekuban – Last but not least. Very hard to assess Caleb Ekuban so far because of injury. From what we have seen the signs are promising. Hungry, great attitude and causes huge problems for defences. Doesn’t look like scoring all the time but he adds some threat and in a front two he could be the perfect partner for a player like Lasogga. Certainly one to keep an eye on.

Verdict – Needs Time To Develop

About Author

Born in Gibraltar, raised in Scotland from a very young age. Been a huge fan of Leeds United since I could walk and talk, thanks to my Dad, the English half of me. After a few years in Australia I moved to Leeds, the trips from Scotland down to the city a few times a season didn't cut it. Love the city. Love the people, and the 12 hour round trip to Elland Road is about a 20 minute round trip. Love writing about the club, the more I write the more I feel comfortable doing it. As long as it's enjoyable I'll continue to do so, keep looking to step it up and progress as well. Leeds United is more than just a football team for me, as is it with so many others.

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