If you were to tell any Leeds United supporter at the start of the season that Samuel Saiz would have been frozen out of the club’s plans halfway through the year, they would have been understandably have been bemused.
After joining the Whites for a reported fee believed to be in the region of £3m (via the Yorkshire Evening Post) in 2017, the Spaniard made an instant impact for his new side by providing a goal and an assist against Sunderland in what was only his second start for the club.
Thriving under the guidance of then-manager Thomas Christiansen, the midfielder continued to impress with his outstanding ability on the ball allowing him to produce stand-out performances against the likes of Bristol City, Barnsley and Queens Park Rangers.
Despite being seemingly destined for great things at Elland Road, things, unfortunately, started to spiral for Saiz as he was sent off for spitting in an FA Cup clash against Newport County which resulted in him receiving a six-match ban. During his absence, Leeds failed to pick up a single victory, a run which culminated in chairman Andrea Radrizzani sacking Christensen and replacing him with Paul Heckingbottom, a decision which ultimately failed to pay off.
Although Saiz would go on to take his assist tally for the year from five to eight following his return to the Whites’ starting eleven, he was powerless in preventing the club’s drift away from play-off contention.
Following the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa as manager last summer, the 28-year-old began the season as a key member of Leeds’ squad yet a number of under-par performances saw him fall down the pecking order behind the likes of Jack Harrison and Tyler Roberts.
After missing five consecutive games for the Yorkshire-based outfit, Saiz made the decision to move back to Spain in January and joined La Liga side Getafe on loan until the end of the current campaign.
A bright start to life with the Azulones saw the midfielder make eight appearances in all competitions which included clashes against Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. However, since starting in a 3-1 victory against Celta Vigo in February, Saiz has failed to feature in the club’s last ten top-flight fixtures which has subsequently cast a doubt over his future at Getafe.
Although the Madrid-based side have an option to sign him for £6m in the summer (via the Yorkshire Evening Post), it is looking increasingly unlikely that they will be willing to extend his deal.
However, if Saiz can make his way back into Getafe’s plans, there is a real chance that he could be playing Champions League football next season.
With Jose Bordalas’ side currently fourth in La Liga, they are just five games away from securing a place in Europe’s most prestigious knock-out competition. If they can achieve this, it would be an historic achievement for a club who have never finished in the top-five in Spain.
Leeds fans, what are some of your standout memories of Saiz? Join the discussion by commenting below.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience