The Athletic’s Phil Hay has offered his thoughts on the four key players signed by Leeds United in the summer transfer window.
A global transfer report conducted by FIFA ranks the Whites as the sixth-highest spenders in 2020, ahead of Arsenal, Bayern Munich and PSG.
Arrivals such as Robin Koch, Diego Llorente, Rodrigo and Raphinha were all brought in for considerable sums, and Hay has analysed their impacts so far.
Llorente – can't judge
Koch – up and down but impressive at his best
Raphinha – the best of them so far I feel
Rodrigo – class on his day, drifts out of it on others
In short, I think Leeds have signed four v good players. It's still to properly fall into place for them.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) January 20, 2021
The journalist unsurprisingly had little to say about Llorente given his one appearance, and he said that Raphinha is the pick of the bunch.
Overall, he argued that “the jury’s still out” on all four, suggesting Rodrigo can be “class on his day” while Koch has been inconsistent in his limited games.
A lot to prove
Marcelo Bielsa was rightly backed by the board in the summer with four major signings, but we haven’t yet seen the best of what they have to offer.
In the case of the two-centre backs that is perfectly understandable given their injury woes, though Llorente may get his chance to impress following his return for the under 23s this week.
Rodrigo and Raphinha, by comparison, have both shown their qualities on several occasions, and the next test for the pair is to display consistency.
A combined spending of £43million on the duo means we should see a return in terms of goals and assists, and not the WhoScored average rating of 6.5 that Rodrigo has managed so far.
He should be afforded time, though, since his first few months have been spent adapting to Bielsa and the Premier League.
The Spaniard is also operating in a deeper position having played as a striker for Valencia last season and for the majority of his career.
His development is certainly one to keep an eye on, while Raphinha is a player one can’t help but notice.
It is also worth remembering that all four players were inducted into a squad with very little Premier League experience, and that means none of them deserve to be written off.
In other Leeds United news, some fans were amazed by Graham Smyth’s latest update.