Leeds “haven’t given up” on £35m “enormous talent”, could be Orta’s biggest coup ever – opinion

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Leeds United are expected to revisit their interest in Cody Gakpo when the transfer window reopens in January, having narrowly missed out on signing him this summer…

What’s the word?

That’s according to transfer insider Dean Jones, who claims that the Yorkshire outfit haven’t given up on the Dutch international just yet.

On the eve of deadline day, Whites director of football Victor Orta travelled to Eindhoven but returned to Elland Road empty-handed as he couldn’t get a deal over the line, per Sky Sports.

Jones has since confirmed that Gakpo very much remains on Leeds’ radar – he told GIVEMESPORT:

“They haven’t given up on it.

“But it’ll be difficult to sign him in January because he’s got his own ideas on how his career is going to shape up from here.

“Will he want to move midway through a season? And if he does, there’ll be other clubs in the mix to sign him.”

Orta’s biggest signing yet

Indeed, the 23-year-old has continued his electric form from last season and after a World Cup campaign, interest in his signature will only increase tenfold, should he deliver on the big stage.

The likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Southampton were already the main competition that Leeds were facing, so you can only imagine who else may enter the running should he do the business in Qatar this winter.

Therefore, if Orta were to secure him at the second time of asking – with this in mind – then it could be his biggest-ever coup for the west Yorkshire side.

Gakpo bagged 21 goals and provided 15 assists from 47 appearances across all competitions in 2021/22 and that has correlated into this campaign with exploits of 13 direct goal contributions from just ten outings.

He has done so primarily from a left-wing position, though he has been moulded into a centre-forward by former Red Devils star Ruud van Nistelrooy, subsequently earning comparisons to fellow countryman Robin van Persie and Premier League great Thierry Henry.

“I always refer to Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie – he’s not at that level yet. But they came into the Premier League as left wingers and were turned into strikers under Arsene Wenger and did very well,” claimed Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan to Sky Sports News.

“He is slowly being transitioned into a striker because he has had some good coaching from [Ruud] Van Nistelrooy.”

Also lauded as an “enormous talent” by Telegraaf journalist Wierd Duk, the 6 foot 2 marksman is averaging a whopping 6.27 shots per 90 in the Eredivisie this term, as well as 2.28 non-penalty goals and assists per 90, via FBref, which are pretty remarkable returns.

By comparison, Rodrigo is Leeds’ top performer, averaging 4.79 shots and 1.26 non-penalty goals and assists per 90 in the Premier League this term.

That only adds to the furore around signing him and is further reason to why he’d be a massive, massive coup for Leeds, especially if Orta and co were to seal him ahead of others.

Gakpo’s once-mooted £35m valuation could certainly be a higher number come January but given his consistency to deliver, he’d be worth every penny.

AND in other news, Orta could’ve landed a “Yaya Toure-like” talent in failed Leeds swoop for “precocious” £50m gem…


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