Director of football on January transfer window.
Leeds United director of football Victor Orta spoke exclusively to leedsunited.com following the arrival of Jean-Kevin Augustin.
The striker became the club’s third arrival of the January transfer window, following the signings of Elia Caprile and Ian Poveda.
Orta was delighted to secure the services of Augustin and spoke about the deal and the January transfer window as whole.
Victor, what can you tell us about Jean-Kevin Augustin deal which was completed on Monday?
“We always monitor lots of leagues and we knew Jean-Kevin following his appearances with Paris Saint Germain in the youth league and in the Under-19 European Championship when he was amazing. He reached a high level, he was a player we highlighted and we followed him during his period with other teams. This winter, we had a meeting with the scouting department to determine any players who perhaps for some reason weren’t playing enough minutes or might be available. When I spoke to the agent of Augustin to see if he was available, he told me ‘there may be a small possibility’. From then we began working, but at the start of January it was difficult following the change of coach at AS Monaco. After a couple of weeks we received a call from the agent to say that the possibility was now open. With the efforts of many people, we tried to act really quickly to secure the player.”
How excited are you to be able to bring him to Leeds United?
“Yes of course. Obviously Marcelo Bielsa has a massive knowledge of French football and as he’s said in press conferences, I always propose players and we discuss our skills. He knows the players I recommend to him need to fit any requirement of our style of play. When I gave the name of Augustin, Marcelo and his staff had a lot of information and data from France and Marcelo was really excited and believed he would be a good fit for us. We then started to work harder to get this player for the head coach.”
Can you tell us about a few of his attributes?
“He is a striker who has good mobility, is quick and a good finisher. It solves the problem of Eddie Nketiah leaving. We’ve managed to find a player with similar characteristics.”
To bring a player of this quality of Leeds United is a big statement...
“For me I would like to say that I’m extremely grateful to the players agent Meissa N'diaye. He was really effective in his work and it is a pleasure to work with people like this. I also need to say thank you to the player, because in the last minutes when people began to know he was available, a lot of teams began to call him, but he was really honest and gave us our word that he would sign for Leeds United and now he is our player. I’d also like to thank my backroom staff who made a presentation to the player in French, making him feel comfortable with the project and also for helping to come up with the idea of Augustin in our brainstorming session. I also need to thank the people who work behind the scenes at the club, our amazing club secretary and our owner and chief executive for making the deal possible.”
This is the club’s third deal of the January transfer window, which you’ve touched upon is notoriously difficult. How satisfied are you with the business which has been completed?
“We had three goals and the main goals we have managed to get. In this market it is not easy to bring in this quality. I feel very proud of the work of all of the people. I am only one part of this, but many people have worked so hard and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has helped us get these three players. We’ve got an exciting young goalkeeper and young winger and a striker who can help us to fight and achieve our goal, which everyone knows about.”