It is fair to say that Victor Orta’s time at Leeds United has not gone as he might have planned 12 months ago.
The former journalist-turned-footballing mastermind was brought to Elland Road as director of football by Andrea Radrizzani, with hopes that his connections and knowledge across Europe and beyond could help the Whites push on from last season’s seventh place.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, things have not gone that way.
Leeds fans have endured a bitterly disappointing season which has seen them regress into mid-table obscurity, and while the argument the campaign being one of transition after wholesale changes from top to bottom may be bandied about, it still is not good enough.
Much of the blame has been levelled at Orta for his failings in the transfer market, with the likes of Samu Saiz and Adam Forshaw the only real success stories among the vast amount of new recruits – so news that he might be leaving the club, with Deportivo La Coruna said to be seeking his capture, would have been music to the Leeds faithful’s ears.
As such, the report from reliable journalist Phil Hay, revealing the Spaniard had turned down a return to his homeland, will have come as a major bombshell to the supporters.
Lots of speculation about Leeds United sporting director Victor Orta recently – Deportivo approached him last week but Orta has turned them down. Intends to stay at Leeds. The sporting director's job at Deportivo is going to another Spaniard, Carmelo del Pozo. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) April 21, 2018
It might not be the news that the fans wanted to hear, but they must consider the silver lining that comes with the disappointment.
Orta might not have had a successful first season but he is renowned for his contacts across the footballing world, and there is no doubt he would be staying if he did not feel he had learned from his mistakes.
Working alongside Paul Heckingbottom, a man who knows the cut and thrust of the Championship – as opposed to newcomer Thomas Christiansen last summer – the transfer team can identify the targets necessary and bring them in.
Neither Orta nor Heckingbottom might be the fans’ favourite right now but together they can help bring some success to Elland Road – if Radrizzani backs them with the cash to splash.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Great news for West Ham’ – fans lose it as major achievement confirmed.