Leeds United chief Victor Orta missed a trick with Kvicha Kvaratskhelia, it seems.
The Yorkshire outfit held talks with the Georgian superstar back in the summer of 2021, as revealed by the winger himself back in his home country, where he told reporters:
“There were negotiations with Leeds and maybe they will continue again. I don’t like to talk in advance.”
Indeed, such interest did resurface earlier this year, after Italian outlet Il Mattino (via Sport Witness) claimed the Yorkshiremen were leading the race to sign the 21-year-old dynamo.
It would be Serie A side Napoli that sealed his signature, though, joining in a £10m deal from Dinamo Batumi back in early July – and what a signing he has been for Gli Azzurri.
Did Leeds make a mistake with Kvaratskhelia?
The 17-cap international has scored four goals and laid on two assists across six appearances so far this campaign, including a particularly glowing display as Luciano Spaletti’s side thrashed Premier League giants Liverpool 4-1 in the Champions League earlier this week, leading to many singing his praises.
BBC Match of the Day presenter and ex-England striker Gary Lineker claimed on Twitter that Kvaratskhelia “is an exciting young talent” who is “difficult to play against.”
Lining up on the left-flank for Napoli, the 21-year-old speedster caused Trent Alexander-Arnold nightmares all evening as he registered four successful dribbles, played three key passes and managed to fire off three shots, as per SofaScore.
BT Sport punditry duo Rio Ferdinand and Robbie Fowler were scathing in their review of the England international’s performance, claiming that it was “shocking” and that he showed a ” lack of desire,” in quotes relayed by English newspaper Metro.
In the past, Football FanCast viewed Kvaratskhelia as an ideal successor to Raphinha at Elland Road due to his remarkable ability on the ball, echoing the thoughts of Taylor, and whilst Luis Sinisterra does look the part, you can’t help but feel that Orta and co missed the boat with the Napoli man.
On the above evidence, Leeds dropped the ball with the Georgian machine, so they will surely regret not signing him. He’ll certainly be sold by the Italian outfit for tenfold of the £10m they paid.
AND in other news, Phil Hay’s recent 49ers update could be game-changing for Leeds and Marsch…