Leeds Untied signed a striker today from SL Benfica, but don’t get too excited, as Oliver Sarkic had already been on loan at the Leeds Academy. He even played in Leeds U23s that beat Hull City 4-3 earlier today, scoring from the spot.
Sarkic had previously joined Leeds United’s U23s on loan from Benfica, and it seemed to be the plan that Leeds would look to make the deal permanent in the January transfer window. From the club’s official website:
The 20-year-old, who has been capped at various youth levels by Montenegro, has put pen to paper on a deal until June 2020 and the club has the option to extend this by a further year.
Sarkic has been a regular in Carlos Corberan’s Under-23 side this season and celebrated signing for the Whites, by netting a penalty in Thursday’s 4-3 victory over Hull City at Thorp Arch.
Before joining Portuguese giants Benfica, Sarkic was on the books at Belgian club RSC Anderlecht as a youth player, moving to Benfica before the 2014-15 season. He spent the 2015-16 season at SL Benfica B in Portugal’s second division, racking up three goals in 25 appearances.
Sarkic spent the 2016-17 season on loan at AD Fafe, also in the Portuguese second division, where he scored two goals in 18 appearances, almost all of which came as a substitute. He also had a trial at Swansea City in July before joining Leeds.
Sarkic joins a number of young players who have joined the Leeds Academy from abroad in the last few months, as Leeds have looked to revamp the youth system at the club under new owner Andrea Radrizzani and the new Director of Football Victor Orta. Interestingly enough, while Sarkic has represented Montenegro at various levels of international football and started his youth career in Belgium, he was born in Lincolnshire.