Leeds United had a mixed transfer window, from the arrival of Joel Piroe to bolster their attacking options to the departures of star players such as Tyler Adams and Luis Sinisterra, both to Bournemouth.
The Yorkshire club have bared the look of a side in transition at the start of the Championship season, too, having picked up just one league win in five attempts, which came in narrow fashion against Ipswich Town.
Given their departures, some may feel as though Leeds could have welcomed more reinforcements before the transfer window slammed shut, including one target whose club wanted the deal to happen, according to reports.
Who did Leeds United sign in the summer transfer window?
By the time that the summer transfer window closed, the Whites had welcomed a total of nine players in what was an impressive overhaul. The pick of the bunch has to be Piroe, but other impressive incomings include Ethan Ampadu, Joe Rodon, Djed Spence, and Glen Kamara.
Now, it’s up to Daniel Farke to turn his side’s season around at Elland Road after such a frustrating start to the season. Up next, Leeds square off against Millwall, where they’ll desperately be hoping to pick up their second win of the season, and kickstart their campaign in the process.
They could have been helped by Fortuna Dusseldorf’s Ao Tanaka, of course, had they pursued his signature any further. According to Rheinische Post, via Sport Witness, the German club had been planning to offload Tanaka all summer, and were left bitterly disappointed that they failed to bid farewell to the Japan international.
Leeds were at the forefront of the Tanaka pursuit, and but for a late wobble late on in the window, he would likely have been plying his trade in the Championship right now, as per reports.
With his sale supposed to hand Dusseldorf a financial injection, the Bundesliga side were reportedly very frustrated that a move failed to come into fruition.
Should Leeds United have signed Tanaka?
In the end, Leeds did manage to reinforce their midfield without the arrival of Tanaka, opting for another Bundesliga option in the form of Ilia Gruev from Werder Bremen.
Tanaka could have been an impressive option, however, given how he performed at the 2022 World Cup, as Japan reached the last 16, defeating Spain in the group stage, in a game that saw the midfielder score the winning goal.
Earning plenty of praise during his time in the Bundesliga, Klaus Allofs – the Fortuna Dusseldorf director – has previously had nothing but positives to say about Tanaka. He said, via the Bundesliga website: “Ao has developed into an important part of our team in recent months. That’s why we’ve decided to tie him down to a long-term contract. We’re firmly of the conviction that Ao isn’t at the end of his development and that we’ll have lots of joy with him in the coming years.”
It is ironic, given the praise, that the Bundesliga side wanted to sell Tanaka this summer. As of right now, however, he remains a Dusseldorf player after Leeds’ failure to secure his signature in the summer transfer window.