Leeds United's eight-figure stance sums up Farke lessons Gnonto and Cresswell learnt

-Credit: (Image: Peter Lous/BSR Agency/Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Peter Lous/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

As Max Wober turned around to face his own goal’s music, dream visions of Leeds United watching their wantaway asset skyrocket in tournament value evaporated. It had to be the only Whites player getting minutes at Euro 2024 with the own goal against the tournament favourites.

Wober was taken off in the 59th minute of that France loss and then sat out the Poland win altogether, but there was something of a reprieve yesterday. Austria beat the Netherlands 3-2, topped their group and Wober played all 90 minutes.

The 26-year-old even got a favourable write-up from Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten. It said: “Has put away the bitter opening game against France including his own goal. A very good performance with good passports and strong rescue acts. Very strong.”

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Austrian coverage of the game has also pointed out Wober only played the Dutch because premier centre-back Kevin Danso was at risk of suspension. The Leeds man could then be back on the bench for the last-16 tie on Tuesday.

To be one of these mythical players who double their value at a tournament, you must virtually play every minute and carry your nation on your back. Wober’s not going to be that guy, but exposure on this stage is not a bad thing, especially in front of those Bundesliga clubs watching on at close quarters.

It remains to be seen what Leeds, or more specifically Daniel Farke, want to do with Wober. The defender has already said everything has been parked until after the tournament, but he has no loan clause to escape with, leaving Leeds to hold the cards on his future.

The manner of last summer’s hasty departure, seemingly after a U-turn, left a sour taste in the mouth. Pascal Struijk will continue as first-choice centre-back on the left and Liam Cooper’s exit is far from certain with four days left on his contract.

What cannot be disputed is Leeds will drive a firm price on Wober for a good while yet. Last season, Farke showed plenty of steel in his comments on outgoing transfers. While the loan clauses left him flabbergasted, when it came to players without them, nobody was allowed to leave cheaply.

Wilfried Gnonto huffed, puffed and went on strike, but was not sold on the cheap to keep him happy. Charlie Cresswell and the manager butted heads over his playing time in January, but that did not mean he was allowed to leave cheaply.

Farke held firm and made it clear anyone interested in Cresswell would pay the going rate for a young, English centre-back with experience of competing for the Championship play-offs. As German title Rheinische Post reports, on the back of Wober’s Dutch display, Leeds have told Borussia Monchengladbach an eight-figure fee will be needed for the Austrian to return.

While Farke’s former employer could stump seven figures, the current asking price is far beyond them as Wober’s loan officially comes to an end. Every player has their price and Leeds will stand firm, even if the player wants to leave.