3 minute read
When Leeds United secured promotion to the Premier League back in July 2020, the Whites were almost immediately linked with a whole host of transfers in the subsequent summer market – with one of the more eye-catching being a move for Dinamo Zagreb centre-back Josko Gvardiol.
Indeed, Croatian media outlet Sportske Novosti went as far to claim that Victor Orta had agreed a €20m (£17m) deal with the 1.HNL side for the defender, with it even being suggested that the 18-year-old would link up with the Premier League side following Dinamo’s Champions League qualifier against Ferencvaros in September of 2020.
However, the Croatia international would ultimately reject the chance to join Marcelo Bielsa’s outfit, instead sealing a €16m (£13m) move to RB Leipzig – since when the youngster has exploded in the world footballing scene.
Indeed, the centre-back has quickly established himself as a first-team regular at Leipzig, featuring in 26 Bundesliga fixtures this season, over which the £21k-per-week defender has helped his side keep five clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.7 interceptions, 1.7 tackles, 1.9 clearances and winning six duels – at a success rate of 58% – per game.
The 20-year-old has also impressed going forwards, scoring two goals, registering two assists and creating four big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 0.9 shots and making 0.5 key passes per fixture.
These returns have seen the £100m starlet who Ivica Olic claimed “everyone is talking about” average a quite astonishing SofaScore match rating of 7.12, ranking him as Domenico Tedesco’s third-best player in the German top flight.
Do you think Leeds should have upped their offer to Gvardiol?
As such, considering his remarkable rise in both value and ability, it is clear that – while not through the lack of trying – Orta had a nightmare when missing out on the signing of Gvardiol back in 2020.