By Craig Scott

5th Jan, 2022 | 7:40pm

Leeds United beat off competition to sign Mateo Joseph Fernandez

Leeds United “have beaten off some stiff competition” to sign young striker Mateo Joseph Fernandez from Espanyol, according to Sky Sports journalist Tim Thornton.

On Tuesday, Leeds confirmed that a deal had been agreed to sign Fernandez, 18, on a three-and-a-half-year contract.

Writing on the Sky Sports website on Wednesday, Thornton reports that in order to sign the Spanish teenager, the Whites had to fend off prying eyes from elsewhere.

Good business

Every time Leeds sign someone for the Under-23s, you get the same old people moaning on social media about the club not signing anyone for the first-team.

But people need to get it into their heads that signing players for the Under-23s doesn’t stop us from signing senior players with budgets allocated for both teams and different scouts watching different players.

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Victor Orta oversees it all and signs off on any signings, with the permission of Marcelo Bielsa for the first-team, but some fans need to get rid of the notion that when we’re signing players like Fernandez, it’s stopping us from adding to Bielsa’s squad.

If we didn’t do signings like this, we’d be a side devoid of Illan Meslier, Pascal Struijk, Joe Gelhardt, Crysensio Summerville and other exciting young players who’ve broken through at Elland Road.

Leeds’ transfer strategy sees them plan for the long-term future while also keeping their eyes on the here and now.

Yes, we do need to sign players for the first-team but we don’t usually burst into a transfer window and sign a number of players for high fees.

Leeds will be meticulous this month and ensure they’re super sure that new signings can be a hit at Elland Road because we’ve had some shockers in January in the past.

In other Leeds United news, the club is readying a bid to sign this box-to-box midfielder.