By George Overhill

28th Dec, 2022 | 9:10am

BT Sport pundit delivers Leeds United transfer reality after Cody Gakpo and Matheus Cunha misses

Leeds United have to shop for value in the January transfer window after missing out on two high-priced targets, says Tony Dorigo.

GOAL reported on 19 December that the Whites were engaged in talks for Brazilian forward Matheus Cunha, who has now moved to Wolves on an initial loan deal with a £44million obligation [Guardian, 25 December], while Jesse Marsch told the Men In Blazers podcast on 2 December that the club were “99.9%” done on a deal for Cody Gakpo.

The Dutch World Cup star is believed to now be Liverpool bound for a deal which could reach the same price [BBC Sport, 26 December], and BT Sport pundit Dorigo believes the money spent on those two shows the “reality” for Leeds United.

In his Yorkshire Evening Post column (28 December) he said: “Clearly, we are unearthing some very talented players at kind of reasonable prices, but you’ve got to get in there early and take a bit of a chance and that’s why we got the likes of Raphinha.

“We aspire to it but we can’t go from where we have been for the last so many years to suddenly competing against the top six or seven that can offer European football. It’s just not going to happen.

“Maybe we can get value elsewhere and value is exactly where we need to be shopping unfortunately. That’s just the way it is. That’s reality.”

Sobering

In the club’s current position the window to land a potential star of the future is slim, since most top clubs will be aware of the most talented players already.

And with the money available to English clubs outside of the Champions League that becomes even harder without the same spending power.

Until the Whites have established themselves as a permanent Premier League side again they will have to be the proving ground for the likes of Raphinha to show they can be a success in a top league before inevitably moving on after a year or two.

The club appear to have got it right with Tyler Adams, whose profile rose massively during the World Cup, and may have done so with the likes of Brenden Aaronson and Luis Sinisterra who big spenders weren’t yet fully live to.

Without a winter World Cup the chances are they would have hit the sweet spot with Gakpo as well, so the recruitment department are clearly doing something right.

But going up against European heavyweights for attacking talent is currently an almost un-winnable battle, so if the club are going to finally find a striker in January they will have to move fast.

In other Leeds United news, the club are taking action with a bid now lined up to address the issues in defence.