Rajiv Van la Parra admitted that he turned down a move to Leeds United before joining Middlesbrough on loan from Huddersfield Town in the January transfer window.
"I indicated that I wanted to go to a club where I could go for minutes,” the Dutchman told EFL Voetbal. "Middlesbrough and Leeds United immediately reported to my agent. Middlesbrough’s (interest) was more concrete than Leeds.”
Almost a month on, however, there will be few fans inside Elland Road wondering what might have been if Van la Parra had made the short trip to West Yorkshire from the John Smith’s Stadium.
Because his first few weeks at the Riverside have been little more than a write off. The speedy 27-year-old has made just three substitute appearances for Boro in the Championship with next to no impact – he also failed to impress in the embarrassing FA Cup fourth round defeat to League Two Newport County.
“I still don’t think he’s found his feet and that takes time. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t,” Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis told Gazette Live when asked about Van La Parra’s ongoing struggles.
With three months left in the season, the one-time Wolves forward still has plenty of time to prove himself in the North East but he could hardly have made a more underwhelming start.
As it stands, it is hard to imagine how on earth Van La Parra would have forced his way into a Leeds team who have been boosted by the improved form of Gianni Alioski and Jack Harrison of late. And, in Jack Clarke, The Whites arguably have the most exciting winger in the Championship.
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