While Leeds United have improved immeasurably since Andrea Radrizzani’s purchase of the club from Massimo Cellino back in 2016, there are nevertheless a number of scars that have been left on the Premier League side from the Italian’s disastrous two-year spell in control of the Whites.
And, while the vast majority of these are financial, there are also some very tangible transfer decisions made by the 65-year-old that are still haunting the club to this day, such as Cellino’s decision not to pay the £7m fee required to prise Michail Antonio away from Nottingham Forest back in 2015.
Was it a mistake not to sign Antonio for £7m?
Cellino had a nightmare on Antonio
Indeed, since his move to West Ham United, the 31-year-old centre-forward has gone from strength to strength, becoming one of the most feared strikers in the Premier League due to his strength, speed and clinical nature in the final third.
All three of these traits have been prominent over his 28 top-flight appearances this season, with the £25m-rated hitman having bagged eight goals, registered seven assists and created seven big chances for his teammates, as well as taken an average of 2.4 shots and made 1.5 key passes per game.
These returns have seen the £69k-per-week forward average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.04, ranking him as David Moyes’ fifth-best performer in the Premier League – playing a crucial role in the Hammers’ push to secure a top-four finish.
And, with Patrick Bamford having missed the best part of six months of the current campaign due to injury, something that has undoubtedly contributed towards Leeds finding themselves in the midst of a relegation scrap this season, it would very much appear as if the Whites could have used the services of the player who Rio Ferdinand dubbed “absolute fire” in leading their line.
However, it has not only been this season in which Antonio has been in excellent form for the Irons, with the Jamaica international having scored 58 goals and registered 36 assists over his 215 appearances for the East London outfit – a highly impressive feat considering the 31-year-old is a converted winger.
As such, while hindsight is a wonderful thing, considering the fact that Cellino had the chance to land Antonio for just £7m back in 2015, it is clear for all to see that the Italian’s decision not to make a move for the centre-forward has cost Leeds greatly in the long-term.
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