Victor Orta reveals Leeds United's prolonged Raphinha transfer pursuit, hails him as 'complete player'

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Leeds United's sporting director has been discussing the summer capture of the winger.

Victor Orta has lifted the lid on how long Leeds United had been tracking summer signing Raphinha, admitting that he believes he is a 'complete player'.

The Brazilian winger joined the Elland Road ranks in the final hours of the summer transfer window in late September.

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Raphinha put pen to paper on a four-year contract for an initial fee of £17m from Ligue 1 side Stade Rennes.

Leeds United winger Raphinha in action at Crystal Palace. (Getty)Leeds United winger Raphinha in action at Crystal Palace. (Getty)
Leeds United winger Raphinha in action at Crystal Palace. (Getty)

The 23-year-old is yet to make his first full start under Marcelo Bielsa but has impressed when called upon despite his limited action.

A defence-splitting pass to Luke Ayling against Aston Villa sent fans on social media wild before his second half introduction before the international break against Crystal Palace injected pace and trickery.

United's sporting director has now revealed that he and his scouting network had been following the development of Raphinha for some time, even before he joined the Leeds set-up under Andrea Radrizzani.

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“We’ve been following him since he arrived in Portugal [in 2016]," Orta admitted to Record in Portugal.

"He went from the lower divisions of Brazil to Guimarães, arrived at Sporting and returned to succeeding, just like at Rennes.

"This sustained growth made us insist on the signing. He incorporates talent and a great physical level, making him a complete player.”

Orta was also quizzed about the difficulties of spending wisely and making good signings in the transfer window.

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“Those who say that signing with money is easy are mistaken; those who say it’s easy to sign without money are also mistaken,” he continued.

“All signings, with or without money, must be taken as a process. The player who yields isn’t the best, who didn’t yield isn’t the worst.

"Talent exists, but there are many ways to develop it, because it depends on many factors that are difficult to control. Therefore, medals shouldn’t be given for success or punishment for failure.”

Asked about statement summer arrival Rodrigo, who arrived in West Yorkshire from Valencia for a club record £27m fee, he said: "It was a strategic signing to show ambition.

“Rodrigo had other options, but he was always interested in our project. I’ve followed him since the academy of Real Madrid, even before Benfica.”

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