Lots of Leeds United fans have been left livid and questioning the club’s actions in the January transfer window, after Marcelo Bielsa confirmed that Jean-Kevin Augustin is not yet fit to feature for the first-team.
Director of Football Victor Orta concluded a deal for Augustin to join Bielsa’s Championship title-chasing squad on January 27, having spent the month relentlessly longing after Southampton striker Che Adams after Arsenal recalled Eddie Nketiah.
The Saints refused to part with their forward, despite United offering a loan deal that would have included a £20million obligation-to-buy dependent on promotion, and Augustin was instead signed.
Our deal with RB Leipzig for Augustin has seen the club hand over €2m (£1.6m) as a loan fee, while also obtaining a €21m (£17.1m) obligation to buy the Frenchman should we secure a Premier League berth for next term.
We are yet to see that money put to use with Augustin omitted from the matchday squad against Millwall and Wigan Athletic, and it would seem the 22-year-old will not be included against Nottingham Forest on Saturday either.
“Augustin is a player who can make a lot of impact,” Bielsa said at his press conference on Thursday, via quotes by the Athletic’s Phil Hay. “He has a lot of skills – you realise that from how much he cost and the teams he played for – but in the last eight months he [has] played three full matches.
Did Orta make a mistake signing an un-fit Augustin?
“When this happens, the conclusions about his fitness levels are clear. Would a player with the ability of Augustin arrive at our club if he wasn’t in the situation that he’s in now? A player of his level, with his skills, if he’s playing could cost £30m or £40m.
“If he arrived here without us paying that money, it’s because he has to resolve a problem – that he wasn’t playing. His fitness performance is very important.”
Augustin had played 13 times for AS Monaco this season while on loan from RB Leipzig, but was only named in the starting line-up twice in Ligue 1, twice in the Coupe de la Ligue and once in the Coupe de France before his spell in the Principality was cut short.
Here are some of the messages shared as fans reacted angrily to news that Augustin is not yet in a position to benefit our title-chase…
So why bring him in 🤷🏻♂️ we needed someone to come in and give us options straight away not leave us with just bamford up top for weeks
— carl smith (@carlsmith_88) February 6, 2020
We needed someone who could make an impact straight away and orta gets someone who could take a while to get up to speed but once he is should have a big impact
— Roger D. 💙💛 (@RogerDixon3) February 6, 2020
This was my worry it was going to be another Nketiah situation. They need some fresh legs give Augustin a chance please Bielsa 🙏
— James Rodgers (@James_Rodgers1) February 6, 2020
WHY BUY HIM WHEN WE NEED A STRIKER URGENTLY THEN
— leah (@leahwallerx) February 6, 2020
Another solid piece of work for the acquisitions department. Hopefully he’ll be available for the play-offs should we get there. We knew Eddie was leaving in early December. It’s February 6th. Shambles.
— angsta (@angstas) February 6, 2020
What’s the point in signing a player that is not match fit ? A signing that presumably would have an instant impact at a crucial period.
— robinjàni (@brodinos) February 6, 2020
Why buy him then? We needed someone ready
— HP_Proud to be LEEDS UNITED💙💛🇲🇰 (@LUFCalwaysEA10) February 6, 2020
I get where he is coming from but why bring him in then. We needed someone to come in early Jan and be ready . We wanted over Adam’s far too long. When one of top scorer in league went back to be sold. Should got wells
— jayjay82 (@jwh1982) February 6, 2020
In other Leeds United news, fans have been urging Bielsa to axe a one-time international when we face Nottingham Forest on Saturday.