Good Morning. It's Wednesday 21st September, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Chelsea target Orta for new Sporting Director Role
According to the Telegraph, Chelsea are keen to bring Victor Orta to Stamford Bridge. Blues owner Todd Boehly is desperate for an expert to work alongside new manager Graham Potter in preparations for the January transfer window. Having lost out on RB Salzburg's Christoph Freund (who decided to stay put), Boehly has turned his attention to either Orta or Bayer Leverkusen’s Tim Steidten. Boehly and Orta were locked in negotiations over the transfer of Raphinha several months ago, and even though the Brazilian ended up at Barcelona, Chelsea's supremo was impressed with Orta's negotiating and man management skills.
Is Victor Orta underrated? Would you like to see him stay at Elland Road, or could this be a blessing in disguise?
Cresswell blossoming at Bermondsey
Phil Hay has penned an interesting article in 'The Athletic' regarding Charlie Cresswell. In it, He reveals that the 20yo had multiple Championship offers during the Summer, but, both he and the Club thought the opportunity from Millwall was perfect. Development, growth and experience is what was needed, and Leeds were only too pleased to waive the loan fee as long as Cressy has plenty of game time.
The Den, as a former Leeds player once put it, is a ground where the more you try to hide, the more the crowd come looking for you. Cresswell had other offers in the summer, other teams asking to sign him on loan, but Millwall looked ideal. There are places where a loanee can tot up minutes in peace. Bermondsey is not one of them.
If Cresswell’s choice of move felt good to him, it felt good to Leeds and good for his professional growth, too. Sending him out was no clearing of the decks and no indication at all that the defender had run his course at Elland Road.
Unlike Shackleton, Millwall were offered no chance to sign Cresswell permanently and while Leeds did not demand a loan fee before sending him south, the deal with Gary Rowett’s team will impose penalty clauses if he fails to play as much as Leeds want. There is also a provision for his parent club to recall him in January, though that safety net is for emergencies. The whole point of the transfer was that he stayed at The Den and played.
Millwall, naturally, have pushed him harder: eight starts, greater exposure in a typically wide-open division and the pressure of trying to give them a sniff of the play-offs. Leeds’ academy was his education. Nine months in London might be his graduation.
Marsch has faith in Kristensen
It's fair to say that Rasmus Kristensen has found it difficult to acclimatise to Premier League football since arriving from Austria in June. At the time, Leeds fans thought that Marsch had uncovered a bargain (£10m), especially after witnessing his physical presence. Standing 6ft 2', and absolutely ripped, most assumed Leeds had bought a no nonsense, combative wrecking machine, who would destroy anyone in his path; sadly nothing could be further from the truth.
Kristensen has frequently been bullied off the ball, gets caught out of position, and his passing (66.8%), is the lowest out of all of Leeds outfield players. Only Illan Meslier (59.5%) has a poorer passing record.
Jesse Marsch has faith in the 25 year old, and believes that once he gets out of his comfort zone, and challenges himself, he'll adapt to life in the top flight. With Luke Ayling on the comeback trail, should Leeds reinstate the old guard, or persevere with Kristensen?
One of the things I said to him was ‘listen, the reason you came here was to get out of your comfort zone and to challenge yourself and to believe you can adapt and grow and get better from the situation. We went through this even a little bit at Salzburg. For me, after two years and this last year in Salzburg, he was probably their best player, their most impactful player.
He said to me ‘I feel like I was making 10 to 20 impactful moments per match at Salzburg, Champions League, in the league and here, it's hard for me to make one or two or three’. I said ‘yeah, the level's big’ and he agrees.