Hernan Crespo is full of praise for Lucas Martinez Quarta after the reported Leeds United target sealed a £13 million move to Fiorentina instead, speaking to Tuttosport.
While enough reliable sources have made it clear the former River Plate stopper was on Victor Orta’s summer hit list, how close Martinez Quarta came to joining Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road is a mystery.
In July, Jeunes Footeaux reported Leeds were willing to invest £11 million in a man who tasted Copa Libertadores glory in 2018.
A few weeks later, however, Robin Koch arrived instead to become Ben White’s heir apparent while Diego Llorente would also be snapped up later in the window to add depth to the heart of Bielsa’s back line.
Martinez Quarta, meanwhile, was forced to bide his time with a long-awaited move to Europe only coming to fruition on the final day of the market in October.
And Argentine legend Crespo is convinced an aggressive, all-action centre-half who idolises Sergio Ramos will be worth every penny of his £13 million price tag to an underachieving Fiorentina side.
“Fiorentina have secured an excellent player by buying Lucas Martinez Quarta,” says the former Chelsea, Inter and AC Milan goal-machine, translated by Calciomercato.
“He is quick (and) has the technique and aggressiveness typical of an Argentine centre-back. So Fiorentina are good.”
After conceding seven times in their first two games since promotion, Leeds have settled down at the back, with Koch producing what Bielsa labelled his finest performance yet during Monday’s 1-0 defeat to Wolves.
Whether Martinez Quarta would have been the better signing, however, will only become clear with time.
Leeds United summer transfers 2020
Wolves (£16 million)
Lorient (£5 million)
Manchester City (Loan)
Wigan (£1 million)
Valencia (£26 million)
Freiburg (£13 million)
Feyenoord (£1 million)
Real Sociedad (£18 million)
Rennes (£21 million)
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