Leeds fans have been crying out for United owner Andrea Radrizzani to splash the cash this summer, following Marcelo Bielsa’s Premier League promotion mission coming to an end in the Championship Play-Off Semi-Finals.
Director of Football Victor Orta, however, was not gifted a lucrative war chest to compile an all-conquering squad, and has instead been focusing his and the club’s efforts on the loan market, to bring fringe players down from the top-flight to Elland Road.
The deal agreed with Wolverhampton Wanderers for Helder Costa, though, will see the Whites go from the Portuguese winger’s temporary home for 2019/20 to becoming his parent side next summer, having signed the one-time international on a loan which carries an obligation to buy.
United will shell out a reported £15million in total in the summer of 2020, with £2million of the fee already handed over to facilitate his first year at Elland Road.
But a figure in the region of £15million, or £13million without his loan fee, still makes Costa the most lucrative transfer in the second-tier so far this summer.
The second-highest figures spent by Championship outfits comes courtesy of West Bromwich Albion and Bristol City, who spent a reported £8million each to acquire Cardiff City striker Kenneth Zohore and Chelsea defender Tomas Kalas respectively.
United supporters have been discussing the difference in fees paid on Twitter recently, after one Whites fan raised the point that the done deal for Costa is close to double that of Zohore and Kalas, and yet others suggest Radrizzani has not shown any ambition to secure promotion.
Fans have been quick to point out that the Costa deal will only see United hand over most of the funds next summer, where the club could be in a far stronger financial position if promotion to the Premier League is secured.
Others have also raised the point that while some money has been spent to secure the loan deals for Costa, Jack Harrison and Ben White, United have recouped a reported £8.5million rising to £13m with add-ons for Jack Clarke and a straight £5.5million for Pontus Jansson.
Jansson’s exit, in particular, has put the club in a somewhat questionable position going into the new campaign, as White, the suspended Gaetano Berardi and the often-criticised Liam Cooper are our only senior centre-backs.
So have the club showed ambition or not? This is what these fans have had to say…
Exactly if we would of paid that now what would peoples thoughts of been? 15m spent but a few more players needed? I want a couple more but for me Bielsa clearly believes in the youth and it’s hard to knock him on that #lufc
— DavidK (@DavidKershaw7) July 26, 2019
On the never never and doesn’t change fact we need a cb and a striker
— Bielsabubs BBQ (@ThegreekZorba) July 25, 2019
On loan, hoping we go up, 20 million on selling players , could be more if BPF leaves, I dont think we’ve done well in this window, also letting PJ leave for peanuts, but time will tell.
— Craig & charlie the chocolate labrador. (@bandforgood) July 26, 2019
He might well be a decent player and should do well. But for Bielsa to still think that our team is not in need of further quality, especially at CB and up front is likely to prove wrong. Small squad and not strengthening during the window cost us promotion. Lesson not learned?
— Iain Groundwell (@Hauxley1) July 26, 2019
That’s 1 player , now compare all other signings and sales and see where that stands! Bet spend minus this season, we are a sell to buy club so making out radz is a big spender is just a ridiculous statement
— marshall (@sales08988433) July 26, 2019
One we haven’t paid it yet! And two we’ve sold over £20m of players just this summer! That’s is the very definition of NOT showing ambition
— Aram (@AramLeeds) July 26, 2019
You do realise we’ve sold over £20m of players this season don’t you ???? ????♂ anyhow enjoy your free scarf and bottle opener, I’d rather the chancer spent the money on a decent striker or cb replacement for jansson tbh ????
— mightywhite92???????? (@mightywhite83) July 26, 2019