In opera circles, they say the show isn’t over until the usually rotund lady comes on stage, coughs a little and then starts belting out some renaissance banger of a tune. I wouldn’t know; I have never been to/seen an opera.
However, Leeds United needn’t worry about fat ladies at this moment in time for it is the fat ladies that won’t do them harm. It’s the Old Lady that Leeds United need to worry about, not the Fat Lady when it comes to signifying that the show is well and truly over.
Actually, it’s not even the Old Lady. Technically it is La Vecchia Signora. That is, Juventus FC who are known by that name as ‘The Old Lady’ of Italian football. It is they who are Leeds United’s bete noir when it comes to the Rodrigo de Paul transfer.
It was a rush of adrenalin when we were linked to De Paul earlier this week. YouTube and Google took a fair few searches that day, I bet. The Argentinian is tailor-made to slide into Marcelo Bielsa’s high-intensity football due to his own high-energy style of play at Udinese. If you look at his heatmaps or at his season action plot graphic, he’s everywhere.
He buzzes around with the same vim, vigour and vitality as a wasp in a jar with paper over the top that you are attempting to remove from your bathroom. You release that paper and it surges to get away, to escape its confines. That’s what Rodrigo de Paul does. Once unshackled, he’s like that wind-up Evel Knievel bike you had as a kid – he is off at a pace.
Make no bones about it. You can have as many Leeds United fans closing the doors to stop the Fat Lady singing on this ‘transfer opera’ but it only takes La Vecchia Signora to burst through the doors and all De Paul hope will be gone.