Those days are distant past when Leeds United used to be one of the most feared sides in English football. The Whites have been struggling in Championship for quite a long time now and have not even come close to a playoff spot in recent years let alone the prospect of a direct promotion to the Premier League.
Following the sacking of Steve Evans, Leeds brought in former Swansea manager Garry Monk with the hopes of changing their fortunes under the Englishman. Exactly one year back, Monk was one of the hottest names in the Premier League courtesy to the brilliant start to his managerial career with Swansea. However, things did not work out well for him at the Liberty last season, despite a strong start to the season, which eventually led to his sacking.
Monk now has a chance to prove himself once again with Leeds and it is quite clear that the 37-year-old is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to bounce back with the Yorkshire based club. The Whites have signed six players this summer with Roofe, Sacko, Green, Grimes, Antonsson and Bartley and reports claim that they are in pole position to land their seventh signing of the summer in the form of Raphael Martinho from Italian side Carpi.
With their relegation from Serie A last season, Martinho is looking for a move rather than plying his trade in Serie B and Leeds are certainly a good option for the 28-year-old. English championship certainly trumps any other second division league in Europe in terms of both glamour and monetary aspects which makes the Championship a much more attractive compared to the Serie B.
Before Carpi, Martinho had spells with Catania, Cesena and Hellas Verona in Italy after moving from Brazilian side Paulista in 2010. The 28-year-old struggled to make an impact in Serie A, playing in 11 games, failing to score or register an assist, while picking up three bookings. However, he did quite well with Hellas Verona where he scored 12 goals and provided six assists from 54 games.
Martinho’s form in Serie A is highly contrasting his Serie B figures. From 50 Serie B games, he netted 13 goals while setting up nine but in Serie A, he has been quite toothless with just two goals and two assists. Leeds have lacked wingers over the past couple of seasons, but recent deals to bring in Hadi Sacko and Kemar Roofe, who can also play out wide, have eased the pressure in this area.
Martinho adds much-needed flair to the Leeds midfield. The 28-year-old is quite versatile as well with an ability to feature on either flank as well as the number ten. His 6 feet frame suggests that he is quite strong as well and won’t find it hard to adjust to the conditions of English football. If Leeds can get him for a reasonable price, it would be a good addition to the side bringing a whole new dimension to the squad.