Leeds United have pulled off some really smart pieces of business in the past few years.
Whether it be bringing in Ben White in loan or snapping up Ian Poveda from Manchester City, time and time again they have proven that they are ahead of the curve when it comes to identifying promising young talent.
And it looked as if they might have done it again when L’Equipe reported that they were keen on PSG full-back Thierno Balde this summer.
The French outlet suggested that the Whites were fully aware of the fact that the teenager was out of contract at the end of this season, and were planning to sign him on a free accordingly.
But it now looks as if they might have actually missed out on Balde.
According to Goal, the youngster is set to pen a three-year deal at PSG, and will not be on the move in the coming months.
And that’s a real disappointment.
Granted, he’s only playing reserve football in France, but this season, as per Wyscout, the teenager has averaged a defensive duel win rate of 83.9% this term, as well as winning 71.4 of his defensive duels.
As a point of reference, Ben White has averaged 72% and 55.1% in those two categories respectively.
Moreover, Balde has won more interceptions and made a higher percentage of ball recoveries in his own half.
Snapping him up would have been a major coup, even if he is only 18.
But Leeds fans shouldn’t be disheartened for too long.
The beautiful thing about the club and its recruitment under Victor Orta is that there is always another option waiting in the wings.
Leeds are thorough and do their homework, and even if they’ve missed out on Balde, you can bet that there will be another bright young thing with a dossier of information hidden away in a filing cabinet somewhere.
Missing out on Balde is disappointing, but we know better by now than to lose too much faith.
In other Leeds United news, Bielsa delivers key fitness update on Hernandez & Roberts ahead of Leeds clash v Fulham.