The Spanish pipeline continues for Leeds United, as it appears that the club is interested in signing yet another youth player from a La Liga club, to either join the senior squad in Leeds or go out on loan with Spanish club Cultural Leonesa.
Leeds United Set to Complete Signing of Real Madrid Striker Ousama Siddiki https://t.co/6JzRh9aYJz— All About Soccer (@AllAboutSocc3r) July 30, 2017
The Sun is reporting that Real Madrid’s 19 year-old Moroccan forward Ousama Siddiki looks to be signed by Leeds and will likely go out on loan to Cultural Leonesa in the Segunda Division. In addition to Real Madrid, Siddiki has already spent time in the youth squads of both Rayo Vallecano and AD Colmenar Viejo.
#LUFC— Stuart (@ssc1874) July 27, 2017
New additions to the U23 squad
Leeds have been raiding the youth systems of various Spanish clubs, with players such as Alejandro Machuca from Rayo Vallecano signed up for the U23s at Leeds. In addition to stockpiling talent in the youth squad at the club, Leeds have reportedly entered into a “partnership” with Cultural Leonesa, and are using the Spanish club as a way to “park” players that they are interested in but may not be right for the first team, such as with Rodrigo Rios Lozano.
Even Madger Gomes, who joined the club from the Liverpool youth system, is from Spain, as he started out at Villarreal before heading over to Merseyside. Gomes has impressed during preseason, although he looks to spend the year playing for the U23s, which might actually be for the best, given the depth that Leeds have at winger.
It’s not surprising to see youth players from Spain arriving at Leeds, as both Director of Football Victor Orta and Lees board member Ivan Bravo have many links to scouts in La Liga and would be familiar with the players and coaches at many of the teams. Bravo is a former Real Madrid executive who helped oversee much of the recruitment at the club before being lured away from Madrid by Aspire Academy, which was set up by Qatar in response to the Gulf State being awarded the 2022 World Cup.
Bravo’s links to the Aspire Academy in Qatar and Aspire’s ownership of Cultural Leonesa also play a part in the partnership with the Segunda Division club as well. For players that are too good to be stuck in the youth system, but wouldn’t necessarily get the playing time they need in the senior squad, loan moves make perfect sense. However, loaning players to other clubs can be a gamble, as the needs of the club the player is loaned to won’t always align with the needs of the parent club. West Ham United’s Reece Oxford, for example, was loaned to Reading FC for the second half of last season, only to be stapled to the bench, failing to get the playing time that he needed to progress as a player.
Hopefully a few of the youth players that are being brought in will turn out to be good enough for the first team, and the team can start relying on home grown talent, rather than going out and paying obnoxious prices for English talent.