Victor Orta arrived at Leeds United from Middlesbrough in 2017, after spending 18 months at the Riverside Stadium

During the current Leeds sporting director’s time at Boro, he and their then manager, Aitor Karanka, helped them sign Adama Traoré. The winger joined the Championship side from Aston Villa in 2016, a year after they took him from Barcelona.

Boro sold the winger to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2018 and in January, he rejoined the La Liga side on a loan deal. Xavi Hernández’s side retain an option to make his stay at the Camp Nou permanent after the end of this season.

Karanka knew the Wolves owned player first hand, having managed him while with Spain’s U16s. The former Nottingham Forest manager has revealed it was the Leeds chief who advised signing the Spain international for Middlesbrough.

“I had known him for a long time. When I trained the U16s, I had already followed him in case we had to call him up. He kept progressing and as soon as Víctor Orta suggested signing him, I was delighted,” Karanka said, as quoted by Marca.

“I spoke with him and I saw that, apart from that player that everyone knows, there was a great boy behind him who always wanted to grow. I had no doubts, although at Middlesbrough they thought I was crazy. But time and Adama himself proved me right.

“He is always wanting to improve and it is easy to teach him. We spent a few hours on the video, because at the beginning the tactical issue was a bit difficult for him.

“There were times when things had to be corrected thanks to the video, but in others he surprised you because you explained things to him and he gave you the solution. He always tries to improve and if he doesn’t know something he asks. He’s a sponge, he listens and wants to learn.”

Leeds’ Orta and Karanka were vital in helping Middlesbrough sign the attacker. Traoré had a good spell with them, scoring five goals and registering 12 assists during the 2017/18 season.