While the attention of Leeds United supporters was very much on the club’s incoming signings over the course of the summer transfer window, there also were a number of the Whites’ squad who Victor Orta quietly moved onto pastures new prior to the closure of the market on September 1.
One such player was goalkeeper Elia Caprile, the 21-year-old who joined Leeds from AC Chievo Verona back in January of 2020 and featured 19 times for the Whites’ U21 side in 2020/21 – keeping five clean sheets and conceding 26 goals along the way – before being sent out on loan to Serie C side Aurora Pro Patria 1919 for the 2021/22 campaign.
However, despite impressing in Italy – keeping 13 clean sheets and conceding just 46 goals over 39 appearances in all competitions last season – Orta decided to cash in on the shot-stopper this summer, with the youngster joining Serie B side S.S.C. Bari on a permanent deal back in July – having never made a senior appearance for the Whites.
And, considering the form the Italy U21 international has been in so far this season, the Spaniard’s decision to move Caprile on so soon after signing the goalkeeper is already beginning to look like something of a shocker for the director of football.
Indeed, over his six Serie B appearances in 2022/23, the £248k-rated ‘keeper has immediately made Bari’s number one shirt his own, having already kept two clean sheets, saved one penalty and conceded just six goals from an xCG (expected conceded goals) of 7.5, as well as making an average of 3.2 saves – at a success rate of 76% – per game.
These returns have seen the 21-year-old average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 7.23, not only ranking him as Michele Mignani’s best performer in the league but also as the 16th-best player in the second tier of Italian football as a whole so far this season.
As such, it is not difficult to understand why Football Talent Scout Jacek Kulig has labelled Caprile both an “absolute star” and one of Italy’s “biggest revelations” so far this season, nor is it hard to make the argument that Orta could very quickly come to regret allowing the 21-year-old talent to leave Elland Road this summer.
Indeed, should the youngster continue at his current rate of development, Caprile could well go on to become one of Italy’s next big goalkeeping talents – something that would not only mean Leeds have let an incredibly exciting prospect slip through their fingers, but also a potentially significant payday further down the line.