Director of Football Victor Orta has found himself in the firing line from Leeds United supporters with a number of his summer signings failing to fire in the Championship.
At least Samu Saiz has earned Orta some degree of credit. The 26-year-old was an unknown prospect in England, having spent the entirety of his career in the Spanish second division, but his £3 million price-tag has looked a snip so far, per The Yorkshire Evening Post.
Saiz has scored four goals and set up another three in 14 Championship appearances so far while his exciting and forward-thinking style has earned the playmaker immediate fans’ favourite status at Elland Road.
Orta’s former employers Middlesbrough, then, may be wondering why on earth he did not bring Saiz to the Riverside during his two years as head of the club’s European scouting network.
"Leeds' sports director, Víctor Orta, was following me for a long time and every player likes to feel loved,” Saiz told Marca in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
Though Middlesbrough, managed by former Leeds boss Garry Monk, have risen to fifth in the Championship after three successive wins, the pre-season promotion favourites have slightly underwhelmed this season with a lack of creativity seen as a central issue.
Saiz, therefore, could have been the final piece in Monk’s Middlesbrough jigsaw if Orta had brought the Spaniard to the North East.
Their loss, however, is very much Leeds United’s gain with Saiz continuing to stand out despite a run of six defeats in seven that has obliterated the optimism surrounding a hitherto excellent start to the season.