The Boot Room recently ran a piece on the 20 players that Victor Orta signed in his first transfer window as Leeds United’s director of football.
Some proved first-team hits, like Mateusz Klich and Gjanni Alioski. Others, unfortunately, flopped at Elland Road, like Pawel Cibicki or Felix Wiedwal.
Others were clearly signed to pad out the club’s under-23 system which had become threadbare in recent years.
In particular, Spanish based talents were brought in to fill roles at the club with the slim hope some of them might progress into future first-team options.
Most of these players, such as Adrian Balboa, Ousama Siddiki, and Alejandro Machuca, barely made an impact at the club, headed out on loan spells, and have since moved into the Spanish lower tiers.
But Hugo Diaz appeared to be a player capable of breaking that mold.
The Spaniard, who could play both at centre-back and holding midfield, made his Leeds debut in 2018 when the Whites were suffering a complete injury crisis at the heart of defence. He went on the controversial subsequent tour of Myanmar.
With Marcelo Bielsa’s arrival in 2018, there was hope Diaz, a ball-playing central defender, might get a chance to shine.
He did, just not with the first-team. That said, he won over plenty of Leeds fans with his performances for the club’s under-23s. He captained Carlos Corberan’s side to the PDL Northern League title and still, some fans felt he was deserving of a shot in the first-team at Elland Road.
In the end, that was not the case, and he headed to Spain last summer – joining Getafe’s B team. However, at the time of concocting the list of Orta’s initial recruitment drive, Diaz was without a club following his exit from Getafe in the summer.
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But that is no longer the case. Diaz signed a deal with Polish second-tier outfit Korona Kielce over the weekend, agreeing to a one-year deal with a possible extension.
He was immediately drafted into the first-team and featured off the bench this weekend in a 1-0 win over Sandecja which moved his new side into 10th place.
Signed as a central midfielder, Diaz will now be hoping to find his feet in Poland and become a regular in the Korona starting XI.
Not many Leeds fans will begrudge him any future success.