Where are they now? The 20 players Victor Orta signed in his first Leeds United transfer window

Where are they now? The 20 players Victor Orta signed in his first Leeds United transfer window

Victor Orta arrived at Leeds United in the summer of 2017 and quickly got about to work at rejuvenating a flagging playing squad both for the first-team and under-23s. 

The director of football is now a widely popular figure among the Leeds fanbase but that was not always the case. 

In his first transfer window at Leeds the Spaniard made 20 signings and not all of them have gone on to be a success at Elland Road. 

So what are they all up to now?

DONCASTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 29: (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Madger Gomes

Arrived from Liverpool with a reputation as a potential rising star. Played two first-team games for the club, both in the EFL Cup. 


Left for French side Sochaux in 2018 and after a subsequent stint in Croatia with FC Nistra is now back in Yorkshire, showcasing some fine form this season with League One side Doncaster Rovers.

Pontus Jansson

This was a deal well in the works before Orta’s arrival after the Swedish cult hero enjoyed a fine loan spell from Torino. 

Arrived permanently that summer and despite becoming a fan favourite was sold to Brentford last summer as Leeds balanced the books. Jansson is now looking to captain the Bees to Premier League promotion.

Mateusz Klich

One of the success stories of Orta’s first season, although it looked like being a dud. The Polish international struggled under Thomas Christiansen but after a loan spell at Utrecht was resurrected as a Leeds player by Marcelo Bielsa. 

Now an undroppable force in the heart of the Whites midfield. 

Felix Wiedwald

Leeds wanted a goalkeeper who could play with the ball at his feet this summer and the German seemed a perfect recruit from Werder Bremen. 

Unfortunately, he struggled to keep the ball out of the net and found himself pushed aside by both Andy Lonergan and Bailey Peacock-Farrell at Elland Road. 

Was sold after just one year, returning to former club Eintracht Frankfurt as a back-up. Following a loan spell at another old stomping ground, Duisburg, Wiedwald joined Dutch side FC Emmen on transfer deadline day last month.

LEEDS, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09:  (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Vurnon Anita

The Dutchman looked a shrewd free transfer recruit by Orta following a promotion campaign with Newcastle United the season previous. 

However, Anita never settled into a position and spent the 2018-19 season on loan at Willem II before his contract was cancelled by mutual consent. 

A stint with Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia was cut short due to COVID-19 in June but Anita found a new home by heading back to Holland and joining RKC Waalwijk in August.

Caleb Ekuban

A surprising recruit from Chievo that summer the Italian-born Ghanaian had smashed in goals in Albanian football the season previous during a loan spell at Partizani. 

But he struggled to find the net at Leeds, despite showcasing some genuine promise. 

Is now a star player with Turkish side Trabzonspor following a successful loan which was made permanent in 2019 and has been linked with big-money moves back to the UK as a consequence.

Samuel Saiz

The Spaniard looked a gem during his time at Leeds but certainly had baggage. There was six-game ban for spitting and then Bielsa clearly didn’t like the look of the player, with question marks over his application in training. 

A loan spell at Getafe led to a permanent move to Girona in 2019.

Ezgjan Alioski

Another success story. Signed as an attacking winger after a stellar season with Lugano in Switzerland the North Macedonian is now usually found in the left-back role under Bielsa and has become a beloved figure among the Leeds fanbase.

Ouasim Bouy

Unbelievably, the Dutchman is still a Leeds United player. He no longer trains with the club and is not worth the termination of contract fee so is running down his deal until the end of the season. 

To think he was once compared to Paul Pogba.

Jay-Roy Grot

Another player still at Leeds but with little hope of making it at Elland Road. The big Dutchman struggled to impress at Leeds but won a Dutch under-21 cap during a successful loan spell at VVV Venlo in 2018-19. A subsequent spell with Vitesse was less of a hit and Grot is now out injured following knee surgery and a subsequent bacterial infection.  

BURNLEY, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Andy Lonergan

The only player to have been awarded a Premier League winners medal on this list after joining Liverpool in the summer of 2019. That came after being released by Leeds, a team he had previously captained, and played with Middlesbrough and Rochdale. 

Lonergan never played a game for Liverpool but was awarded a Premier League winner’s medal for the work he did on the training ground with the goalkeeping unit. 

Now a free agent.

Adrian Balboa

Despite sharing a name with a famous character from one of Hollywood’s most famed Cinderella stories this was not the outcome for Balboa at Elland Road.

After one season at Leeds, he was loaned out to Terrassa and then FC Vilafranca before joining Lorca FC on a free transfer in August 2019. 

Last month, Balboa was on the move again, joining CF Montanesa of Spain’s fourth tier who have just signed Espanyol legends Joan Verdu and former Spanish international forward Sergio Garcia.

Pawel Cibicki

The Swedish attacker arrived with plenty of promise from Malmo in 2017 and was a good friend of fellow signing Pontus Jansson. However, he did not have the same impact at Leeds and spent spells on loan with Molde, Elfsborg, and ADO Den Haag before being sold to Polish outfit Pogon Szczecin in January this year.

(Photo by YE AUNG THU / AFP) (Photo credit should read YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

Hugo Diaz

One of the young Spanish recruits Orta brought in to bulk up the under-23 side who actually made a first-team appearance for Leeds. He featured in a 3-1 loss to Preston North End in 2018 amid a defensive injury crisis for Leeds. 

Diaz then captained the Leeds under-23s to the PDL Northern League title in 2018-19 but never threatened Marcelo Bielsa’s first-team. 

Diaz joined Getafe’s B team in June 2019 but was released in July and remains without a club.

Bryce Hosannah

The recruit from Crystal Palace is still considered a potential prospect at Leeds and has been loaned out to Bradford City for regular first-team action this campaign.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – JULY 17: (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Alejandro Machuca

The tricky playmaker was another of Orta’s compatriot recruits who did very little other than make up the numbers at Thorp Arch. 

A loan spell at Burgos was followed by his permanent exit in July 2019, when Machuca made the move to ambitious UD Ibiza. 

Was on the move again earlier this year and is now plying his trade for CD Mostoles in Spain’s fourth-tier.

Oriol Rey

One of the more exciting Spanish recruits. The midfielder who could play in the back-line arrived from Barcelona’s B team and had fans excited.

But Rey was never king at Thorp Arch. A loan spell at UD Conquense led to a permanent move to Real Valladollid’s B team in July 2019 where he remains today.

Ousama Siddiki

After arriving from Real Madrid the winger survived just one season at Leeds before joining lowly UD Logrones in 2018. 

But he has helped take the club into the professional ranks, helping the club to promotion to the Spanish second tier last season where he made his professional debut last month. He is now playing alongside a current Leeds United loanee in the form of Mateusz Bogusz at the ambitious Spanish outfit.

You can even sign him on FIFA 20, where he has a decent potential of 76.

Kun Temenuzhkov 

Another who arrived from Barcelona with plenty of promise. A loan stint at La Nucia was cut short by the global health crisis last season so he headed out to third-tier outfit Real Union this time around. 

Scored on his debut and, having been used by Marcelo Bielsa in the past, will retain hope of making it at Leeds. 

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