Anyone who’s ever played Football Manager will understand how difficult it is to stop yourself from signing young wonderkids who your scouts have recommended – and Victor Orta is no different.
Leeds United’s director of football has never shied away from snapping up youthful talent, whether it’s from England or across Europe.
Since Andrea Radrizzani hired the Spanish transfer chief, Leeds have signed a glut of youngsters from Spain, such as Oriol Rey, Adrian Balboa and Alejandro Machuca to name a few. He’s also welcomed Pascal Struijk from Ajax, Aapo Halme from HJK Helsinki and Bulgarian youth international Kun Temenuzhkov from Barcelona.
That does not even scratch the surface when delving into the players that Orta has signed for Leeds’ Under-18s and Under-23s sides, who are now dominated by players from across the continent, rather than just Yorkshire.
It would seem as though Orta has no plans to slow down on his Football Manager-esque recruitment and the Spaniard is now reportedly in the hunt to sign Reims defender Enzo Valentim.
According to reliable news outlet Football Insider, Leeds’ scouts have been “blown away” by Valentim’s performances in France and Orta is now shaping up a move for the 18-year-old.
It may be difficult to persuade the France youth international to head to Elland Road with European champions Liverpool also reportedly interested in him, but still, it just shows how good a prospect this teenager is.
Radrizzani will have handed Orta a lot of money to manage this revamp of Leeds’ youth structure and as of yet, we are yet to really see any convincing results.
Marcelo Bielsa has shown that he is willing to blood young talent into the senior squad, but the only starlets who have really made a mark in the first-team are English ones like Jack Clarke, Ryan Edmondson and Jamie Shackleton.
We’re yet to see a Balboa, a Rey or a Struijk step up and justify Orta’s transfer strategy.
Hopefully Valentim can fall into the category of the Clarkes and the Shackletons.