Phil Hay has been speaking about the club’s pursuit of Noa Lang over the summer on the latest episode of The Phil Hay Show podcast.
There were links throughout the summer that Leeds were looking to bring in Club Brugge’s winger Lang, who impressed last season in the Belgian top division, finishing as the club’s top scorer with 14 goals, but a move never materialised.
Did Leeds have a good transfer window?
It was not all doom and gloom for Leeds fans, though, as they did manage to bring in another winger, with Daniel James joining on deadline day for £25 million, which will add some competition and depth to the squad behind Jack Harrison and Raphinha.
Hay spoke about who did – and who didn’t – want to sign Lang this summer.
“People will have seen Noa Lang linked all the way through the window, and the reality with Lang is that [Victor] Orta thinks a lot of him, and Orta thinks he could be very good value and he tends to have a good eye for a player – particularly a prospect – and he felt that that was worth investigating, worth setting up potentially for Bielsa to sign if Bielsa liked him.
“There were things about Lang’s game that Bielsa wasn’t totally sold on – he wasn’t saying that Lang in any way was a poor player, but I think defensively and tracking back wasn’t quite right, and you know that that matters to Bielsa.”
TIF Thoughts on Lang not arriving…
Lang, who is valued at £19.8 million (as per Transfermarkt), may have brought some attacking flair and ability to finish in the final third based on last season’s performances, something James has arguably lacked throughout his career, with four goals being his best return in front of goal, however, he does bring Premier League experience – which Lang does not have.
The Dutch winger would have reportedly cost Leeds less than what they have paid for James, with Lang’s price tag reportedly being around €25m (£21m), despite having never played Belgium or his native Netherlands.
Either way, it is probably a good thing that Bielsa is prepared to overrule Victor Orta’s recommendations through his own assessments of players, as he is perhaps the most important man to please at Elland Road when it comes to the recruitment side of things.