Leeds United director of football Victor Orta has spoken to Leeds Live regarding the club’s January transfer business. What looked like being a frustrating window ended up being a positive one for the club.
Leeds needed to replace outgoing loanees Jack Clarke and Eddie Nketiah, who had been recalled by respective parent clubs Tottenham and Arsenal.
They did that, with Ian Poveda signing from Manchester City and the eye-catching recruitment of French talent Jean-Kevin Augustin from RB Leipzig.
Their other signing was more of a surprise. Leeds United snapped up 18-year-old goalkeeper Elia Caprile from Chievo in Italy.
It seems a young goalkeeper was always on Leeds’ list of wanted January transfers. But, as Orta made clear, it was not an easy process. In fact, it seems one of their initial first choice options soon became unavailable as he started to make first-team appearances with his current club.
“It’s a difficult approach for young goalkeepers in the internal (UK) market because the quality of really protected by contracts. We start to evaluate 20 goalkeepers. I put the availability because it’s difficult, and (goalkeeping coach) Marcos Abad makes a scouting difference because he has a more professional eye.
“Then we evaluate these 20 names, we leave in three main names. One of these we had the bad luck as they start to play straight away with his first team at 18. Then they all seemed impossible.”
Who the Leeds supremo is referring to is something of a mystery. There are not many 18-year-old goalkeepers out there currently playing week-in week-out for their first-team.
Norwegian talent Kristoffer Klaesson broke into the Valerenga first-team, aged 18, in the second half of 2019 whilst Spanish talent Miguel Morro made a handful of appearances for Rayo Vallecano. Maarten Vandervoort at Genk almost fits the profile, but at 17, is too young to be the player in question.
Whoever it was, it seems Leeds are planning for the future in terms of their goalkeeping position. With Kiko Casilla 33-years-old and Ilan Meslier only on loan, that is a wise decision. Hopefully, Caprile can prove to be a shrewd recruit in the years to come.