With the club’s hopes of survival still firmly in the balance, it is fair to say that it has not been the season that Leeds United supporters would have been hoping for, having yet again been thrust into a battle to stave off relegation.
Having narrowly avoided the drop last term, the Whites would likely have had loftier ambitions heading into the start of the current campaign, particularly after splashing the cash on the likes of Tyler Adams, Luis Sinsiterra and Brenden Aaronson.
The signing of the latter man had been a long-time coming after the Yorkshire side saw two bids rejected for the then-Red Bull Salzburg man in January 2022, going on to fork out around £25m to get the deal wrapped up back in June.
Since wrapping up that protracted switch, however, the United States international has “failed to make the step up from the Austrian Bundesliga to the Premier League”, according to writer Zach Lowy, scoring just one goal and providing only three assists in the top-flight to date.
That measly return from the 22-year-old is at least better than that of current teammate, Georginio Rutter, with the latter man having thus far proven an even more expensive and ineffective addition for the Elland Road outfit than that of Aaronson.
How much is Georginio Rutter worth?
Much like Aaronson, the former Hoffenheim marksman was brought in under the watch of former sporting director, Victor Orta, with the transfer chief – who only left the club earlier this month – seemingly having made a real error of judgement by green-lighting the move.
While young Rutter still has time to turn things around in future, the 21-year-old has been unable to endear himself to his new club after failing to score or provide an assist in 12 appearances across all fronts to date, having even been demoted to life with the U21 side of late.
Although the Frenchman did look ‘dangerous‘ while turning out for the academy side against Aston Villa in the Premier League 2 Division 2 play-off semi-final just a few weeks ago – according to Leeds Live’s William Jackson – those at Elland Road will have been hoping for far more from the club’s record signing.
Such have been the striker’s woes, he is currently valued at just £17m – according to CIES Football Observatory – with that representing a drop of around £18.5m in less than five months, in relation to his initial £35.5m fee.
It seemingly beggars belief as to why Orta and co forked out such a hefty sum for a player who had scored just 11 goals in 64 games during his time in Germany, with there perhaps also confusion as to why the France U21 international has not been handed a greater chance to impress.
BBC pundit Micah Richards (Radio 5 Live, Monday Night Club, 24/04/2023) only recently suggested that he didn’t “understand what the plan was” with relation to Rutter’s signing as he is “not even getting a kick”, with it evidently clear that the peripheral figure has “struggled” in English football so far – as per journalist Dean Jones.
With reports having emerged a few months ago that the player himself didn’t even want to make the move in the first place, Leeds could well be harbouring their own regret at sanctioning such a costly deal.
On the basis of Rutter’s current valuation, it looks unlikely that the Whites would be able to recoup anywhere close to that £35.5m fee if they were to cash in this summer…