Turbulent is probably the perfect word to describe Victor Orta’s spell at Leeds so far. Right now, his popularity with the Elland Road faithful is almost as high as it has ever been following the signing of Kiko Casilla.
But there have been times where Orta has appeared to be the least popular figure associated with the club. Last season’s form piled the pressure on heading into this campaign.
The jury is probably still out regarding his first-team signings. Much of Bielsa’s squad arrived before Orta did. And some of the summer signings have not made much of an impact.
But one aspect of Orta’s work that surely cannot be questioned is what he has done with the youth squads at Thorp Arch.
The Whites signed an incredible number of academy players in 2017. And while some, understandably, have disappeared or been discarded, plenty have been inspired additions.
Plenty to look out for
Bryce Hosannah, Kun Temenuzhkov, Ryan Edmondson, Aapo Halme and Jordan Stevens have either been involved in the first-team or will be there in years to come.
And Orta deserves particular praise after seemingly changing the strategy ahead of this season.
Fewer youngsters have been signed. But the emphasis is now on quality rather than quantity. Leif Davis is already playing first-team football, and Mateusz Bogusz is apparently closing in on a move.
Bogusz is a seriously exciting talent. He is definitely a name to look out for. And it should probably not surprise the fans if he pushes himself towards the first-team radar before the end of the campaign.
And this strategy is the one that is going to ensure that Leeds’ first-team can continue to call upon their under-23 squad without hesitation.
Orta may remain a divisive figure for the time-being. But his strategy with the youth recruitment appears to be spot on.