It was reported during the January transfer window that Leeds United were one of the sides interested in Palmeiras youngster Danilo.
Midfield was one area Leeds simply had to strengthen in during the winter. Tyler Adams and Marc Roca had formed a very decent partnership, with the former, in particular, proving to be an outstanding signing. But depth was a real issue.
Ultimately, it was Weston McKennie who went on to join the club. McKennie signed on loan from Juventus. At the time, it appeared to be an inspired move.
McKennie was superb alongside Adams at the World Cup. And a loan deal looked to have the potential to be a brilliant piece of business. However, the deal has not worked out as many would have hoped.
McKennie has been really disappointing in recent weeks. The injury to Tyler Adams has hurt Leeds enormously. And McKennie and Roca simply do not appear to work together.
Leeds being made to rue missing out on Danilo
One of the only times Leeds have seen the pair shine was in the win against Nottingham Forest. On that occasion, Javi Gracia’s side were superb. And Leeds appeared to get the victory which took them to the brink of safety.
Little more than a month later and the situation could hardly be much more different. Now it is Leeds who require a monumental turnaround to keep themselves up.
And one of the key reasons for that is the form of a player who was in Forest’s side that night at Elland Road.
Danilo was on Leeds’ radar, and he would move to the Premier League in January. But it was Forest, rather than Leeds, who would land the Brazilian for around £18 million.
Danilo had little impact on that game against Leeds. But he has definitely had an impact in the weeks since.
He has now scored in each of Steve Cooper’s side’s last three games, including in the wins over Brighton and Southampton.
With that, he has outscored all of Leeds’ central midfielders combined. And he has helped give Forest an unbelievable chance of staying up.
Perhaps Danilo would not have thrived in the circumstances McKennie has found himself. But you cannot argue with the fact that Forest are the ones who have benefitted more from the midfielder deal they did in January.