Director of football Victor Orta said that Leeds United has been keeping tabs on Moroccan sensation Azzedine Ounahi for the past two years.
The 22-year-old help Morocco reach semi-finals in Qatar, becaming the first African team to reach that milestone.
The combative midfielder is being coveted by many big clubs after his impressive performances at World Cup. One of the club who has been linked with Ounahi is Leeds United and Victor Orta admits he has been coveted the midfielder for a long time.
“Even my president wrote to me,” Orta told Radio Marca. “’Where was he that we didn’t see him?’ He has been the revelation player. We’ve known him for two seasons. Regarding his season at Angers, I was surprised by just one thing: the physical level. He used to be more of a trotón [Spanish word used to describe a more languid, less dynamic player].
“But the emotion [of a World Cup]: does he feel the same when he puts on the Angers shirt as when he knows that his whole country is behind him? All that makes us contextualise performances.
“I don’t want to talk about Totò Schillaci [1990 World Cup top scorer], [El-Hadji] Diouf and all those one-hit-wonder players who excelled at a World Cup or European Championship but then their careers weren’t the same.
“Ounahi has played unbelievable, he has played in an unbelievable context. Now you have to look at bringing him out of that context. He’s had a great performance, but to sign a player [after watching him for] five games – and hopefully he has a wonderful career going forward because he’s got conditions.
“I invite everyone to watch 20 Angers games. Maybe they will tell me that he is a slightly different player. But maybe this will help him to put himself on the other step and make a different trajectory because it generates that confidence to show himself in the first showcase of the World Cup. But if a sporting director says he thought Ounahi was going to perform like this, he’s lying.” – said Orta for the Yorkshire Post.
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