By Dan Carter

12th Oct, 2023 | 9:40pm

Ilias Akhomach lifts lid on failed Leeds United transfer as he 'didn't like' Elland Road switch

Ilias Akhomach has lifted the lid on his failed Leeds United transfer this summer, revealing there was something “he didn’t like” about his potential move to Elland Road.

The Whites had reportedly reached an agreement for the former Barcelona winger before Leeds were relegated under Sam Allardyce last season [Sport, 17 March], with former sporting director Victor Orta spending the final hours of his time at Elland Road attempting to convince him to join the Whites [Phil Hay, 11 May].

Instead, the 19-year-old opted to remain in Spain, joining Villarreal in La Liga where he has made five appearances this season, picking up one assist, but the Spanish youth international has finally shared his reasoning for rejecting the move to Leeds United.

As quoted by Sport (12 October) he said: “I was going to go to the Premier League. That’s the truth. But then I thought it over with my family, the sporting director left, there were many changes, Leeds were relegated.

“Something was going on inside me that, when my family told me about it, I don’t know… There was something I didn’t like about going to Leeds. It was a lot of change.”


It is a shame that Leeds were unable to sign a player as obviously talented as Akhomach is, but Daniel Farke has been vocal about only wanting players in his side who want to be a success with Leeds United and it is clear that the Spanish winger isn’t keen on playing for the Whites.

Had Leeds remained in the Premier League, this would have been a deal that would have made plenty of sense, with the Whites once again picking up young European talent with the view of developing them into better players to eventually sell them for a profit.

But in the Championship and under the 49ers, that is not how the Whites want to operate. At the moment they need proven quality to fire them back to the Premier League and while they have signed players who are still young, they are closing in on their prime rather than still teenagers.

There’s every chance in a few years that Leeds fans will regret missing out on Akhomach if he hits the heights some have predicted that he will during his career, but that is a problem for the future rather than an immediate pain for Whites.

Under Farke they have recruited well this summer and have created an incredibly strong Championship squad.

In other Leeds United news, one player received a 1/10 in MOT Leeds News’ player ratings for the season so far