By Michael Brown

24th Jan, 2021 | 6:58pm

Exclusive: Brown stunned by Leeds transfer reveal - 'That Surprises Me A Lot'

Michael Brown’s reaction was one of “surprise” when told that Leeds United were actually the world’s fourth-biggest transfer spenders in 2020.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Sheffield United man also said that Marcelo Bielsa’s side had made a “wonderful start” and were sat in a “good position” in the Premier League table.

As detailed in FIFA’s Global Transfer Market Report for 2020, only five clubs in Europe — Chelsea, both Manchester clubs, Barcelona and Juventus — forked out more money on transfers than newly-promoted Leeds last year.

However, Football Insider‘s resident finance expert Kieran Maguire believes that the figures are deceptive and that the Whites should actually be fourth in the list.

And Brown thinks Leeds are right to be ambitious in their transfer outlook but that Premier League safety is their chief concern this season.

He told Football Insider: “They’ve spent a lot but that does surprise me, if those are the stats, that does surprise me a lot.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“You wouldn’t have thought that would have been so high at all, to be honest. This might just sound negative from me, but the start of this season was about Leeds United not being in that bottom three.

“That’s it, if you can stay away from that, build for another season, it’s the same for any promoted side. Yes, you want to be ambitious, you want to finish mid-table in your first season, but it’s about building and I think they’ve had a wonderful start and they’re sat in a good position.”

Leeds spent just shy of £100million over the summer, breaking their transfer record to sign Rodrigo from Valencia in a £26m deal.

There were also deals for Diego Llorente (£18m), Raphinha (£16.7m), Helder Costa (£15.9m), Robin Kock (£11.7m) Illan Meslier (£5.85m) and Joe Gelhardt (£900,000).

In other news, a former Premier League and England star has said Leeds United youngsters should look to Zlatan Ibrahimovic for inspiration.