Manchester United legend and former Feyenoord manager Jaap Stam believes Leeds United made a “world class” signing over the summer in his former pupil Luis Sinisterra.
The West Yorkshire club underwent some major surgery during the summer window, with Jesse Marsch securing nine transfers, including Sinisterra, Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams, Marc Roca and the deadline-day capture of Italy international Wilfried Gnonto.
The new signings have gelled well since pitching up at Elland Road, with Sinisterra — who was signed for £21.3m from Feyenoord — making an immediate impression, having netted in consecutive Premier League games against Everton and Brentford.
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The 23-year-old Colombian rose to meteoric prominence last season as Feyenoord reached the inaugural Europa Conference League final, where they came unstuck in the Albanian showpiece to Roma, earning his place in the competition’s first ‘Team of the Season’, as well as scooping the ‘Young Player of the Season’ award.
Such form provoked clubs from Europe’s top five leagues to sit up and pay attention, with Leeds ultimately winning the race for his signature — but Stam knew about his talents long before that deep run in the Conference League, even when some were doubting him.
Speaking to Squawka (courtesy of bet365), Stam said: “At Feyenoord, people were saying to me ‘I’m not sure about him’ and ‘he can’t keep it up after half an hour’ or ‘he’s tired and his legs are gone’.
“But I spoke with him, and I spoke with my other coach that I brought in, and when I looked at him, I saw a player that was very interesting, and had a lot of potential.
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“That’s why I gave him the confidence when he was there to play for me as winger. Immediately you could see what he could bring to the game.
“Using his pace, his one-v-ones, his scoring ability, also in creating them for somebody else. He’s a guy that’s very willing to learn, he’s got a very good mentality.”
He continued: “After I left and the other manager came in and kept playing him, he grew as a player, into one of the best players over there. Now he’s made a very big transfer to Leeds, unfortunately he got injured but he’s back and he’s already scored two goals in two games.
“I think Leeds are going to enjoy him. He’s a world class player, he can only become better, and I’m very happy for him.”