Transfer activity is evidence of Andrea Radrizzani and Leeds United's Premier League ambitions, says CEO Angus Kinnear

Leeds United's determination not to simply make up the numbers in the Premier League has been evidenced by their transfer window activity, says chief executive Angus Kinnear.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 4:05 pm
Updated Friday, 16th October 2020, 4:06 pm
AMBITIOUS SIGNING - Rodrigo broke Leeds United's transfer record when he moved from Valencia to the Premier League new boys.

The domestic window closes today at 5pm but Leeds completed their business by the final hour of the international deadline, 11 days ago. Only the departures on loan of Barry Douglas and Robbie Gotts have given the club involvement in the final stages of the window.

They broke their transfer record to sign Rodrigo from Valencia for around £27m, added long-term target Robin Koch from German top flight side SC Freiburg and Spanish international defender Diego Llorente from Real Sociedad.

Brazilian winger Raphinha was added on deadline day from Rennes for a fee in the region of £17m to take the club's summer spent to around the £90m mark. There were several highly rated youngsters added to the Under 23s group as well, from clubs abroad and at home.

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Bielsa told the press today he was 'totally satisfied' with what the club managed to do in the window and is content with the options at his disposal for every position, even if a deal for central midfielder Michael Cuisance fell through at the last minute over Leeds' medical concerns.

Kinnear credited director of football Victor Orta and Bielsa for their work to bring who they feel are the right additions to the newly promoted Premier League club and Andrea Radrizzani for putting his money where the Elland Road ambitions lie.

"I think we're delighted with the window." he said.

"Victor and Marcelo have worked really well in aligning players that Victor has identified through the scouting network but have then met Marcelo's exacting standards. We're reinforced the fact that Andrea is prepared to invest seriously in Premier League status and we're not here just to make up the numbers."

Although Leeds' initial plan was to sign players who had excelled in the Championship, players they felt would cope with the step up in standard, the actual business they did took on a very different look. Of their four major first team signings, only Raphinha is yet to play international football, but he has experienced European club football and since his arrival has impressed Bielsa with his lightning-quick adaptation to the Whites' playing style.

Orta revealed to the YEP in an exclusive interview that their activity in the market was largely determined by player availability, which can vary wildly during a window, as was the case with Rodrigo, Llorente and Raphinha. In the case of striker Rodrigo, Valencia's financial situation necessitated sales, while both Real Socieded and Rennes changed their minds on keeping Llorente and Raphinha. All in all it gave Leeds fans a more exciting window than many had anticipated, when promotion to the top flight was secured.

"The strategy of going for the cream of the Championship has been delivered perfectly," quipped Kinnear.

Whites fans may get their first sighting of Raphinha on Monday night when Leeds take on Wolves at Elland Road. Bielsa has confirmed the 23-year-old will be involved in the squad.