It was quite intriguing following Leeds United’s reported pursuit of Che Adams during the January transfer window, with the Whites seemingly throwing all they could at Southampton in their bid to land the striker.
The Yorkshire Evening Post reported towards the latter stages of the month that Leeds had offered a loan deal that would have included an obligation to buy for £20 million this summer had Marcelo Bielsa’s side been promoted.
Like the Whites’ previous two offers for Adams, the Saints reportedly turned the bid down.
And the Daily Echo reported shortly after that the Premier League side had been left somewhat baffled by Leeds’s continued attempts to land Adams having already made it clear that he would not be leaving.
Leeds bounced back and secured a loan deal for Jean-Kevin Augustin before the window shut. Meanwhile, Adams did remain at St Mary’s beyond the deadline.
But just a few weeks on, perhaps Adams would be forgiven for ruing not securing a move away in January.
The 23-year-old has not started a single league game in 2020. In fact, he has not played for longer than 20 minutes in a single game in the top flight since the turn of the year.
Augustin’s struggles to break into Leeds’s side following his move suggest that Adams may have had to bide his time at Elland Road had he moved anyway.
But Augustin’s opportunities are allowing him to build up his fitness in the hope that he will soon be able to put Patrick Bamford under serious pressure for a starting spot.
And given Bielsa’s loyalty to those who have a place, Augustin will know that the spot is his for some time should he manage to overtake Bamford.
Adams meanwhile, has suffered because Danny Ings has been outstanding this term. And it is perhaps telling that Michael Obafemi was brought on before him against Burnley at the weekend.
Obafemi ticks different boxes. But Adams arguably looks to have the greater potential to be a good Premier League striker in the future.
Adams may be content with the role he has right now. And he will surely be aware that he has not done enough to prove himself to Ralph Hasenhuttl yet.
It must also be noted that the Daily Mail reported that Adams had decided that he wanted to stay on the south coast after talks with Hasenhuttl.
But you could understand if he was slightly concerned about how much more of the tunnel he still needs to wade through before light emerges – particularly after the club blocked his exit in January.