Euro 2020 Special

A Look at Leeds United’s Transfer Window Activity

The January transfer window has now closed, and Leeds United fans and manager Jesse Marsch will be hoping that the club has done enough to achieve their main objective, which is staying in the Premier League for another season. They will also be hoping for further progress in the FA Cup – they have a fifth round tie against either Fulham or Sunderland to look forward to, but that is not their main priority.

Here is a round-up of their main January business.


Georginio Rutter

Leeds broke their club record to sign striker Georginio Rutter from German side Hoffenheim, for an initial fee of £24.8 million, which could potentially increase to £36 million with add-ons.

At 20 years old, he represents something of a gamble, and he is still raw. However, he is two footed, and had already made 64 appearances for the Bundesliga team prior to his move, with ten goals and six assists to his name since the start of last season.

Rutter has signed a five and a half year contract at the club, and Marsch in commenting on the transfer said that he hoped “that he can acclimatise quickly.”


Max Weber

Marsch went back to one of his old clubs, Red Bull Salzburg, to make Max Weber his first signing of the January transfer window.

The Austrian international, who can operate either as a left-back or centre half, came through the ranks at Rapid Vienna, before he was signed by Ajax, making his international debut shortly afterwards.

Then he moved to Sevilla, but his spell in Spain was cut short when Marsch signed him for Salzburg for what was, at the time, a record fee for the Austrian Bundesliga.

He went on to play 125 times in all for Red Bull, and won the league and cup double three times during his career with them. Weber joins two former Red Bull team-mates Brenden Aaronson and Rasmus Kristensen at Elland Road.

Weber made his Premier League debut in the goalless home draw with Brentford.


Weston McKennie

It is certainly a case of Marsch bringing in players that he knows well to the club, with USA international Weston McKennie joining on loan from Juventus until the end of the season.

Leeds will pay a £1 million loan fee, with an option to buy in the summer of £29 million.

That increases the American involvement at the club to five – with Marsch himself, Chris Armas who has recently joined as one of his assistants, and fellow midfielders Aaronson and Tyler Adams.

In fact, there may soon be a much bigger American presence at the club. 49ers Enterprises (an arm of the NFL team the San Francisco 49ers) currently have a minority ownership stake in Leeds United, but are aiming to complete a full takeover in the future.

McKennie, who has 41 senior caps for the USA, and was in their starting line-up at the Qatar World Cup, began his senior career playing in Germany with Schalke, before joining the Italian club on loan initially, before the move was made permanent.

He made a total of 65 appearances in all competitions for the Serie A side, scoring eight times.

His debut for the club is likely to come in the Premier League away at Nottingham Forest on Sunday.


Diogo Monteiro

Diogo Monteiro may be more one for the future, given that he is still just 18 years old.

The defender, who has featured for Portugal at every age group up to under-19 level, has been signed from Swiss club Servette for an undisclosed fee on a three and a half year deal.

Monteiro made his debut for Servette aged just 16, becoming in the process the third youngest player to appear in the Swiss Super League.


Diego Llorente

Meanwhile, one significant departure from Elland Road on deadline day was Spanish defender Diego Llorente.

He has joined Serie A side Roma on loan for the rest of the season, and Jose Mourinho’s team have the option to make the move permanent in the summer.

Llorente joined Leeds from Real Sociedad in 2020 and made 59 appearances for the club, but has been deemed surplus to requirements by Marsch, having fallen down the pecking order under the American.




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