Sinisterra shines, Kristensen flops - Leeds United transfer ratings so far at World Cup break
Brenden Aaronson was the first of a hefty Leeds United transfer haul in the summer that increased expectations for the new season.
Victor Orta moved early and landed a number of players who appeared specifically geared to play for Jesse Marsch, while last season’s stars Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha were sold to cover virtually all the spending.
Transfer deadline day was a mess and saw Wilfried Gnonto rushed in late to make up for multiple failures on senior attacking stars, while left-back went strangely ignored in a move that has come back to bite the Whites so far this year.
Here, MOT Leeds News rates the Whites’ summer transfer arrivals out of 10 for their performances as the club enters the six week break for the World Cup in Qatar.
Brenden Aaronson – £22.2million from Red Bull Salzburg (The Athletic) – 8
The American started with a bang as the team mixed it at the top of the league to open the season. Went off the boil somewhat as the form headed south, but tends to be central to everything positive going forward on days where the Whites click.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
A single goal and pair of assists might seem underwhelming considering the former Red Bull man starts every game, but his influence spreads further than simply what shows up in stats, and the fact that he is one of the first names on the team sheet shows he was a worthwhile signing.
At 22 he should still improve as he adapts to the Premier League, and so far he has proven to be worth the wait after Orta failed to secure him in January.
Tyler Adams £20million from RB Leipzig (Guardian) – 7
Another young American who has gone to Qatar alongside his Leeds United teammate, he has to be considered an overall success having played all but three minutes in the top flight, barring one game missed through injury.
He has helped the absence of Phillips to not become a central concern and doesn’t back down from a battle with anyone in the centre of the park, adding much needed bite to the base of the midfield that had become a problem area last season.
But the three minutes missed were due to a lazy sending off at Tottenham last weekend (12 November), and there are concerns that goals are being conceded too easily from the edge of the box where it seems like he should be key, otherwise his rating would be higher.
Rasmus Kristensen – £10million from Red Bull Salzburg (Sky Sports) – 5
Arrived with the profile to quickly become a fan-favourite but struggled to adapt to the Premier League, and has been part of a Leeds United defence that has looked increasingly like the liability of last season again.
Oddly seems to be more effective going forward than he does at the back so far, which may be down to Marsch’s tactics as much as his own play, but arguably hasn’t been an upgrade in that area on Luke Ayling who he was dropped for to face Fulham.
Has shown some improvement in recent weeks and the club didn’t pay a huge fee for him, but the jury remains out, and the fact that he has added to a situation that could now see the talented Cody Drameh leave in January counts against him.
Marc Roca – £10million from Bayern Munich (Sky Sports)- 7
Has started every game and developed a nice partnership with Adams in the middle, while registering impressive stats in forward passing that can sometimes go unnoticed.
He arrived with doubts over his physicality and ability to thrive in his position in English football, and although he has looked composed and confident on the ball he has a tendency to go missing when the Whites are under the cosh.
Has the same, if not more, questions to answer as Adams when it comes to opposition players arriving on the edge of the box in acres of space to convert cut-backs, but considering what he cost and what alternative options there are for his position he has been a decent pick up.
Luis Sinisterra – £22.3million from Feyenoord – 8
Were it not for a frustrating number of caveats he would be the clear signing of the season for Leeds United, as he appears to have all the necessary qualities to replace Raphinha for seasons to come.
Was belatedly introduced to the line-up by Marsch but looked to be developing into a Whites star when he scored three and assisted another in a three-game spell between late August and early September, before the Queen’s death and the international break saw the side out of action for a month.
He was then needlessly sent off in the first game back, which has to go against him, wasn’t able to recapture his previous form after suspension, and is now out injured.
The 23-year-old has offered the most in the shortest space of time, having only seen just over 500 minutes of action in 10 appearances, suggesting he will be the best signing of the bunch, but he will have to be available more regularly to reach his potential.
Darko Gyabi – £5million from Manchester City – 5
Tough to judge the youngster considering he has been a strong performer for the under-21s but has only featured once for the senior side, although the negative may rest more with the manager than the player.
Arrived in difficult circumstances, as a central midfielder who came the other way from Manchester as fan-favourite Phillips left, although the deals were officially unrelated.
Wasn’t expected to immediately be a first-team factor and has done well in the under-21s, but the fact that he hasn’t been given league action when Adams was injured or Roca has been substituted is disappointing, with Marsch opting to use the likes of Sam Greenwood out of position instead, but at 18 there is plenty of time for him to come good.
Sonny Perkins – Tribunal fee (The Athletic)- 6
West Ham were furious about the way he left them and the highly-rated teenager showed exactly why when he embarked on a remarkable scoring run for the under-21s and England under-19s to start his Whites career.
Has only featured once for the senior side, alongside Gyabi in the Carabao Cup, and arguably gets marked down for the same reason, in that he hasn’t been seen in the senior Leeds United side despite the usual issues with Patrick Bamford.
Has shown signs that he might be the answer in attack with his scoring form and has plenty of time on his side at his age, but fans would have liked to see him as the Whites struggled for goals prior to the recent resurgence.
Joel Robles – Free – 6
As an unspectacular signing he has fulfilled his role as experienced cover for Illan Meslier well, and as might be expected has only played once in the Carabao Cup.
Wilfried Gnonto -£3.8million from FC Zurich (Daily Mail) – 7
Another signing handed extra pressure by the nature of his arrival, as his January move was brought forward at the last minute when the hierarchy failed with other moves on deadline day.
Didn’t see any league action until his late cameo at Liverpool (29 October), but after playing a role in winner there he provided a superb assist for Crysencio Summerville a week later, before his first start was curtailed by injury at Spurs.
Has shown flashes of definite quality in very little time to arguably surpass what was expected of him when he was brought in, but it is still early days.
In other Leeds United news, one young talent already looks to be headed for a January exit after what his manager revealed in the past week.