It is fair to say that Andrea Radrizzani’s first year in charge at Leeds United has been a tumultuous one.
After a bright campaign which saw the Whites finish seventh in the Championship, it was all change over the summer, the Italian becoming the full owner at Elland Road and implementing a massive amount of changes from top to bottom.
On the surface, it has been an unmitigated disaster, with the senior side floundering and any early season hopes of a play-off push and a possible return to the Premier League well and truly sunk by periods of abysmal form.
Somewhat understandably, Radrizzani and his right hand man, director of football Victor Orta, have taken the flack from fans for the club’s disappointing campaign, with the former Middlesbrough man’s transfer captures failing to hit the expected heights.
However, under the deck of the Leeds ship, there is a lot more of a positive attitude, especially when it comes the the academy side of things.
Leeds have a proud history of producing young talents and developing them into first team stars, with many graduates of the youth system going on to feature in both the top flight as well as on the international stage.
That may well have stuttered somewhat in recent years, but academy manager Adam Underwood is optimistic about the future, and places credit at the feet of Radrizzani and Orta, crediting the funding, as well as the experience, knowledge and contacts, the pair have provided.
His rave review, calling it the “strongest recruitment set-up” he has seen at Elland Road, suggests supporters might have been a bit hasty when criticising the pair, and although their immediate impact has been frustrating, the future looks bright with them at the helm.
If Underwood’s assessment is correct, then the Whites could see the next generation of Leeds stars drive the club up the table and perhaps back into the top flight, and if and when that happens, Radrizzani and Orta will be having the last laugh.
In other Leeds United news, the club have welcomed men from Manchester City and Manchester United through their doors.