After Leeds United appointed Victor Orta as the new director of football in May 2017 it seemed clear that the Whites were intent on reaching the playoffs after narrowly missing out with a 7th place finish in the 2016/17 campaign.
Orta was busy working alongside Andrea Radrizzani on a major recruitment drive for the club during his first summer in the job as Leeds welcomed 14 new players in the transfer window.
The most expensive deal of the window saw Samu Saiz arrive at Elland Road in a deal worth £3 million, and it’s fair to say the supporters were delighted by the prospect of seeing the silky Spaniard in action after Leeds confirmed they had reached an agreement with SD Huesca via their official Twitter page.
Looks a quality player, and was clearly sought after…… great work by Radz and Orta
— Mick Ward (@MWardy21) July 10, 2017
Didn’t see that coming!!! Good signing well done
— mark Flather (@markfla82) July 10, 2017
Really happy with this signing.
— André (@AndreGwilliam) July 10, 2017
GOING UP AS CHAMPIONS
— 2000 BC (@BC_LUFC) July 10, 2017
— Alex (@AlexSmith2599) July 10, 2017
@sam_hodgkin now that's a signing
— Josh Steane (@SteaneJosh) July 10, 2017
Saiz arrived at the club on the back of a season in which he’d notched 12 goals and provided 8 assists from 40 appearances in La Liga 2, so it was no surprise that the Leeds faithful were full of optimism for his career in English football.
The relentless nature of the Championship season saw Saiz struggle to adapt to the physical nature at times, but he still managed to score 5 goals and provide 8 assists from 34 appearances.
His composure in possession and ability to glide through the midfield with the ball firmly glued to his feet offers Leeds a layer of creative quality which is verging on unrivalled in the Championship.
The key for Saiz is to translate his ability into more goals and assists this season to ensure Leeds finally reach the playoffs at the very least and, under a manager in Bielsa who places high value on technical ability, he is well placed to build on his impressive debut campaign.
The initial hype which surrounded Saiz’s arrival has certainly been justified so far but Leeds supporters are certainly well within their rights to expect their elusive playmaker to step up another level this season.
Leeds fans – thoughts on Saiz? Let us know below!