Jeff Stelling has asked “who the heck” endorsed deals such as £36million for Georginio Rutter at Leeds United, given he has had no impact.
The Whites’ season has not gone to plan. After narrowly avoiding relegation last season, the West Yorkshire outfit recruited more than £125million worth of players throughout the summer and winter transfer windows.
While the hope would have been that the signings kept them afloat, they were scrapping at the bottom of the table from early in the campaign and never managed to turn that around – their season ending in relegation.
With the threat of the drop looming come January, former boss Jesse Marsch looked to improve upon what he had.
Indeed, the American boss brought in striker Rutter, from Hoffenheim, as well as Maximilian Wober from RB Leipzig and Juventus’ Weston McKennie on loan.
The impact each of those players has had has differed. However, their immediate impacts were lacking and Marsch was sacked in February.
Other than through injury, Wober has hardly missed a game since joining the Whites. McKennie has played every single league game he was available for, and while he’s not been bad, more would’ve been expected given the stature of the side he had been playing at.
Rutter is a signing that raised eyebrows. The Frenchman was signed for a club-record fee of £36million, despite being a relatively inexperienced 21-year-old who didn’t have a very big impact at all at previous clubs.
Stelling asks ‘who the heck’ endorsed Rutter signing
He is yet to score in a Leeds shirt and has started just one game in the Premier League. Easing a player in is fine, but in a relegation battle, spending a record fee to do so seems crazy, especially now they’ve been relegated.
Those are the thoughts of Sky Sports pundit Stelling, who has blasted the Whites’ recruitment.
“They paid £36million for Georginio Rutter, who has scored 12 career goals and has made one Premier League start,” he said.
“Who the heck is endorsing these deals at Leeds United.”
Indeed, the business model seems flawed. Rather than impact the first team at the back end of the season, Rutter has been playing in the Premier League 2 playoffs.
Relegation makes outlay seem worse
That Leeds have now been relegated from the Premier League makes the signing seem even worse. If they were sure they were going to stay up, signing a player who could progress into a talent in the future would make some sense.
However, while staring down the barrel of relegation in January, Leeds needed impactful players then.
That could have kept them afloat, which would have made whoever they signed worth it even if they only played for those few months.
Instead, they essentially wasted £36million on a player whose value has probably dropped, but may still leave in the summer.