Victor Orta believes the squad Leeds United have assembled under Marcelo Bielsa is stronger than last term’s, and spoke about his ultimate aim of overseeing their promotion back to the Premier League – something the fans and city “deserve”.
After a turbulent summer window in which the Yorkshire side sold key figures Pontus Jansson and Kemar Roofe, Leeds fans would have been forgiven for approaching the new campaign with a sense of trepidation.
But after eight games, Leeds sit atop the Championship table on goal difference, with hope renewed of a return to the top tier of English football after falling short in the play-offs four months ago.
Leeds have had to manoeuvre economically in the window due to the restrictions of Financial Fair Play, but Orta’s approach has born fruit so far with loan signings Ben White and Eddie Nketiah impressing in the early stages.
Speaking in an interview with offthepitch.com (via Yorkshire Evening Post) while attending the World Football Summit in Madrid, Orta said: “We need to keep the same goal with financial restrictions. We need to keep the goal of promotion.
“After the summer transfer market we are really happy that I think we improved the squad, keeping the economical restrictions. This is not really easy with the politics of loans but the situation we needed to assume this summer.
“With the rules of financial fair play we cannot afford a permanent transfer, but we are really happy if you can make good loans it can be a good strategy. And in the past a lot of teams have been promoted with a good loan policy.
“[Promotion] is our goal. The city deserves, the fans deserve.”
Leeds’ promotion push was hampered by injury last term, most notably with top scorer Kemar Roofe who frequently spent time on the sidelines as hopes of gaining an automatic promotion spot were dashed.
The Whites’ director of football appreciated the need for a hint of luck regarding injuries this season, stating: “For me one of the keys of this season is about health.
“If we don’t have any injuries I think we can fight for promotion.
“Last season we had a lot of injuries and even arrived to the last part of the season with chances.”
Speaking on the panel at the summit, Orta went into detail on one of the biggest differences in modern football compared to the past – data analysis.
“The big difference in modern football is information, everyone has it and the important thing is to transform it into useful knowledge for the club,” he said.
“There should not be a roof in the scouting department,” he continued, while admitting “looking for players with 16 years is perhaps too late.”
“If a CEO in a club invests in the scouting department they can build a new club, not only for buying or selling, but creating a philosophy, create identification with the fans.
“Investment in a scouting department never has a ceiling. You can change the reality of the club in respect of this situation.”
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