By Anthony Onifade

17th Sep, 2023 | 7:40am

Joseph Paintsil shares why he snubbed move to Leeds United after failed £8m Elland Road summer transfer

Genk forward Joseph Paintsil has revealed he turned down moves to Leeds United and Southampton this summer as they couldn’t match his “dream” Premier League ambitions.

The Whites tabled an £8m bid for the Ghana forward which was agreed [Santi Aouna, 28 August] but the deal collapsed with Ghanasoccernet (28 August) reporting that Leeds couldn’t agree on personal terms with the player or a fee with Genk.

The forward had earned himself plenty of admirers in Europe this summer after an impressive season last team that saw him register 18 goals and 14 assists in 39 games in all competitions.

And speaking to Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws (16 September), Paintsil revealed that the Whites could not match his Premier League dream and he wanted to stay to see if more prestigious clubs could make a move in future.

He said: “I’m still here. There were many rumors, many possibilities.

“When my agent said that I could go to Southampton and Leeds United, it quickly became clear to me that I did not want to leave Genk for those clubs.

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“Look, every player has certain expectations. My dream is to one day play in the Premier League. Or at least in a top five European league.

“I don’t want to say that Southampton and Leeds are bad teams, but they couldn’t convince me. After my performances, I expected more last season.”

Understandable decision

The 25-year-old would have been a fine addition to the Leeds United ranks after the sensational individual campaign he enjoyed last season in Belgium and he certainly possessed all the attributes necessary to make an immediate impact at Elland Road.

However, no move materialised which was understandable given Paintsil’s Premier League dream and after the season he just enjoyed in Belgium, a move to a bigger club would have been perfect for his development.

That’s the disadvantage of being a big club playing in the Championship and Leeds United certainly felt that in this instance because had they remained in the English top flight, Paintsil could well have been an Elland Road player this summer.

However, while that move looked a blow at the time, Leeds United will have certainly moved on from that setback and Daniel Farke will certainly feel his attack is well-stocked to achieve their ambitions.

Wilfried Gnonto and Crysencio Summerville remained in West Yorkshire, while the club still have Daniel James, Ian Poveda on their books together with summer loan signing Jaidon Anthony who swapped Bournemouth for West Yorkshire with Luis Sinisterra going the other way.

Who knows, if Paintsil still remains a Genk player beyond the January transfer window and Leeds win promotion back to the Premier League, they may well be tempted to return with another bid for the Ghanaian attacker.

In other Leeds United news, a promising Elland Road injury update has emerged as three players are now set to return to action at The Den on Sunday.