Leeds United: The Radrizzani Revelation
It has come a time now where there is not much a Leeds United fan has not experienced. From winning the top flight to falling to the third tier of English football; a feat that was later coined ‘doing a Leeds’ which would be made reference to if any other club should achieve a similar fall.
Since being out of the top flight it has been corrupted owners to deducted points, homegrown talent being roped in to the Premier League and once the rumours started circulating that insane Italian, Massimo Cellino would leave the club, whilst the most part of the fan base wanted him out no one could help but ponder what on earth could be next. It was known for a long time last season that a business associate of Cellino’s, Andrea Radrizzani would eventually buy a 100% stake in the club but the truth is no one seemed to know an awful lot about the man.
Once the summer began rumours popped up that Radrizzani wanted to buy back the stadium which was simply reacted with a large yawn and ‘we’ve heard it all before’ from the proud supporters of Leeds United. However lo and behold, just a month into his tenure the news broke that Elland Road had been bought back for a sum in the region of £20,000,000, news that touched every Leeds fan in the country and created a sense of the club being back in the hearts of the city once again.
It did not stop there for Andrea, he interacted well with fans on Twitter, held down the club’s most promising youngsters with longer contracts and made a total of thirteen summer signings which have all had promising starts to the season. When the news broke over a week ago that last season’s top scorer Chris Wood would be leaving the club for Premier League club Burnley, there was not the same feeling of despair amongst the fan base that usually occurs, it was more of a ‘Radrizzani will pull this off’ kind of feeling and to be fair, Leeds are currently the only unbeaten side in the football league in all competitions scoring a total of sixteen goals and conceding just four.
Despite the selling of a big player, this season has seen the flourishing of twenty-one year old midfielder, Kalvin Phillips, forward Kemar Roofe already topping his goal tally from last season and new signings, Samuel Saiz and Ezgjan Alioski swiftly make their marks on the Championship. In terms of a replacement for Wood, Radrizzani certainly is not in the market to be panic buying and does not seem to be interested in overpaying for a domestic based player, due to the nature of the inflated market we have now become apparent with. Club’s are much more interested, rightly or wrongly, in going for foreign based players, which in my opinion it is the inflated market that is wrong, most clubs just cannot afford to compete with it. The man to replace Wood, who is all but confirmed to be a Leeds player on a season-long loan at the moment is Hamburger forward Pierre-Michel Lasogga. He is a former Germany under-21 international and has earned senior call-ups also although later pulling out with injury.
It is still early days but it I can assure it has been an incredible amount of time since there has been this sense of aspiration around Leeds United. Andrea Radrizzani is doing all the right things at this stage and despite appointing a virtually unknown manager in Thomas Christiansen things are really paying off, a man who Andrea says created a presentation of everything that went wrong last season and how he would correct it, during their meeting in Madrid. Whether they are top of the table or 15th in the Championship the fans will be travelling in huge numbers wherever they go and for whatever lies ahead this season those fans will be playing a big part.