Photo by Javier Mamani/Getty Images

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.

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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.

Photo by Paolo Aguilar – Pool/Getty Images

“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.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Leeds United summer transfers 2020

  1. Helder Costa

    Wolves (£16 million)

  2. Illan Meslier

    Lorient (£5 million)

  3. Jack Harrison

    Manchester City (Loan)

  4. Joe Gelhardt

    Wigan (£1 million)

  5. Cody Drameh

    Fulham (£800,000)

  6. Charlie Allen

    Linfield (undisclosed)

  7. Sam Greenwood

    Arsenal (undisclosed)

  8. Rodrigo

    Valencia (£26 million)

  9. Robin Koch

    Freiburg (£13 million)

  10. Crysencio Summerville

    Feyenoord (£1 million)

  11. Diego Llorente

    Real Sociedad (£18 million)

  12. Raphinha

    Rennes (£21 million)

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