Luis Sinisterra – How Long Will Leeds Be Able To Hang On To Rising Star?

Luis Sinisterra Leeds
Photo Credit: AP

Leeds may well be having a tough time of things in the Premier League, but one of their more recent acquisitions has been shining through the gloom. Luis Sinisterra has been enjoying the praise that has been flowing his way this season since his move to Elland Road.

With some dazzling attacking plays, the signing of the Colombian is looking like a great bit of business done by Leeds. The problem for the Whites is going to be hanging on to him if they can’t pull themselves out of the weeds.

Raphinha Departure Triggers Leeds Search

The capture of Luis Sinisterra wasn’t major national headline sports news in the summer of 2022. But local outlets like BBC Radio Leeds were awash with the news that Leeds had gone shopping. There was a reason for the purchase as well.

After so many exciting games for Leeds in the Premier League, the Elland Road club knew that they weren’t going to hang on to Brazilian winger Raphinha. There were just too many clubs knocking on the door for the Brazilian.

As expected, Raphinha would leave Leeds. He moved to La Liga giants Barcelona on the contract of a lifetime after two seasons at Elland Road. The sale of Raphinha brought around £60 into the club. It was a huge chunk of money.

The Whites had also sold England midfielder Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City for around £50 million. So the money was there in the coffers for Leeds to go shopping with. Because of having lost such a high-quality attacking talent in Raphinha, they needed a replacement.

So they turned to the Dutch Eredivisie where Luis Sinisterra was putting in some eye-catching performances for Feyenoord.

Luis Sinisterra Feyenoord Playing Days

The Colombian winger spent four seasons in total with Feyenoord in the Dutch top flight. He had to work his way up through the ranks there. But things started to come together nicely for him in the 2021/22 season.

His goal output for Feyenoord in the Eredivisie went up, netting 12 goals in 30 league appearances. But that probably wouldn’t have been enough alone for the types of transfer rumours that were flying around involving Sinisterra at the end of the season.

It was his performances for Feyenoord in the UEFA Europa Conference League that put him out there. The goals wouldn’t stop flowing from the Colombian in the continental competition.

Sinisterra rattled off 11 goals in 18 appearances during Feyenoord’s UEFA Europa Conference League. The Dutch side battled their way through to the Final of the competition, so there was naturally a huge spotlight suddenly upon him.

While Feyenoord lost the 2022 UEFA Conference League Final 1-0 against Jose Mourinho’s Serie A outfit Roma, it was still a huge campaign for Feyenoord and Sinisterra. A fantastic return of 23 goals in 49 appearances (all competitions) put him on the radar.

Strong Luis Sinisterra Leeds Links Pay Off For EPL Club

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Leeds United’s Luis Sinisterra celebrates with teammates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Leeds United and Everton, at Elland Road Stadium in Leeds, England, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Premier League side Leeds swooped in and settled on a fee of £21 million to complete the Feyenood Luis Sinisterra deal. That was reportedly the biggest transfer deal that the Dutch side had ever made on the sale of a player.

Sinisterra wouldn’t be the most expensive signing that Leeds would make in the summer of 2022, however. The club shelled out more than £30 million on attacking midfielder Brenden Aaronson from Austrian Bundesliga club RB Salzburg.

That deal made Aaronson the most expensive player in Leeds’s history. As it was slightly more than what they had paid La Liga side Valencia for in 2020 for striker Rodrigo.

Whether it was the lure of the Premier League, or whether Leeds did a tremendous job of selling themselves to the player, they beat out some tough competition for his signature. While rumours of Sinisterra Leverkusen links for a move to the German Bundesliga were touted around, the biggest link was to Napoli.

Napoli were reportedly looking at the Colombian to replace Lorenzo Insigne. But a deal never came together on that front, allowing Leeds to secure the services of Sinisterra. When they do sell him, it’s likely going to be another nice windfall for Leeds. At this rate they will receive well above the £21 million they paid to get him.

Can Luis Sinisterra Lift Leeds?

News about Leeds United today doesn’t make for great reading, certainly for their fans. Struggles through the early part of the 2022/23 Premier League season, heaped pressure on head coach Jesse Marsch. The Whites earned just two wins in their first eleven matches of the new season. It left the Yorkshire club floundering in the relegation zone.

Marsch himself had arrived partway through the previous season. He had the tough job of filling the sizable shoes of the much-loved Marcelo Bielsa, who Leeds had sacked in an attempt to avoid relegation.

Premier League relegation was avoided. The club proved to be right in their decision-making. But progress since then hasn’t managed to fall into place for the Yorkshire club. Big hopes like Luis Sinisterra are going to be key for the Whites in maintaining their Premier League status.

If they can hold on to him.

The Big Teams Are Watching

Luis Sinisterra hasn’t long been with Leeds. It’s an interesting proposition to think about how much longer he will be there. Certainly, if the season doesn’t pan out for the Whites and they get relegated to the Championship, it’s not hard to imagine that Sinisterra will leave.

Big clubs will spot a huge opportunity to go and prey on the fallen club, trying to get the Colombian winger for a decent price. Should big performances from Sinisterrra help Leeds retain their top-flight status for at least another season, that presents a similar scenario that the club will face.

Keeping Leeds afloat will make him equally big of a transfer target in the summer. The Sinisterra contract with Leeds was a five-year deal. Naturally, the big clubs are going to come knocking soon for the Leeds United player one way or another.

There have already been little tantalising rumours of where he could end up next. Manchester City links and Luis Sinisterra Arsenal links have been seen. But things like that always have to be taken with a pinch of salt during the middle of the season.

A season like no other

But the 2022/23 season is going to be one like no other. That’s because of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in December. It’s giving a whole new element to the following January transfer window. Players are going to have a huge chance to advertise themselves on the biggest stage of all, well ahead of that.

It is more than possible that because of the 2022 World Cup there are going to be a flurry of unexpected transfers. Clubs that get players back from the World Cup are, of course, not going to be keen to sell at that point. But deals can still be worked out in January with an actual transfer date booked for next summer.

Will Missing The World Cup Benefit Luis Sinisterra?

The 2023 January transfer window is going to be very, very interesting. Luis Sinisterra will have some extra work to do for himself, however to get wrapped up in further transfer talk. Colombia failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. So he won’t have that platform. However, what he will get is a month of rest midway through the season. That could in turn, propel him strongly into the second half of the season when domestic league action in Europe returns.

2022 saw the Leeds United player make a bit of a breakthrough at the international level with Los Cafeteros. Sinisterra made his debut back in 2019. That was in a friendly against Algeria. He wasn’t called up again until 2021, a year in which he earned two more international caps. But it would appear that he is no longer on the fringes of the Colombian set-up.

Sinisterra has made four appearances in 2022. He scored his first international goal in a big victory over Guatemala in September. He was then the inspiration for a 3-2 victory by Colombia over Mexico in a friendly.

Colombia had been trailing 2-0 at the break in the fixture. But Sinisterra roared into life in the second half, rattling off a brace. With three goals in four appearances for his county in 2022, he could be a tremendous untapped talent for Los Cafetoros.

Big Steps Ahead For Sinisterra

At the end of the day though, Sinisterra is still cutting his teeth at the very top level of the game. Half of a season in one of Europe’s big five leagues probably doesn’t exactly prove that has reached the pinnacle of his ability.

There should be more to come from him in that regard. The more time that he gets under his belt in the Premier League, the more experience of high-pressure situations in big matches he gets, the more rapid his development. Leeds will be hoping it all goes quickly. They could benefit hugely from Sinisterra not going to the World Cup. Leeds will keep him fresh for the tough second half of their league survival campaign. How crucial will that prove to be?

It’s hard to predict where players are going to end up. But the exciting winger has produced good results in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Conference League already. Clubs will be looking at that and wondering what Sinisterra could do in the Champions League.