Ever since the departure of last season’s top goal scorer in the Championship, Chris Wood, Leeds United have struggled to strike the right balance in front of goal.
But, despite the fact that the Whites haven’t had an out-and-out goal-getter in the side, they are still well in the mix to challenge for a spot in the playoff positions at the end of the campaign - and could even push for promotion into the Premier League. What happens in the remainder of the January transfer window could be key, and fans are screaming out for the addition of a big name striker to spearhead the promotion charge.
Lasogga Not up to Scratch
Although Pierre-Michel Lasogga was instrumental in Leeds’ resurgent second-half display against Millwall, the on-loan Hamburg striker has been inconsistent all season and has often been accused of laziness. His two goals against Neil Harris’s side sparked an almost-comeback against the odds but the German also missed a couple of gilt-edged chances in the first half, which could have helped put the game out of the Lions’ reach.
The 26-year-old has bagged seven goals for the Whites but has only started 16 games. This highlights Thomas Christiansen’s lack of faith in the striker, and the manager has frequently preferred Kemar Roofe as the focal point of the United attack. Moments of brilliance from Lasogga suggest that he would be best used as an impact sub to come on late in games and harry tired defences. As a replacement for the departed Wood, who scored 27 goals in the league last season, Lasogga is not up to scratch. In fact, the summer acquisition is at odds of 150/1 with Betway to finish the season as the Championship’s highest scorer. This underlines the fact that United desperately need a striker who is proven at Championship level and knows how to find the back of the net week in, week out.
Missing Potential Recruits
Leeds recently missed out on signing the Derby County forward Chris Martin on loan, something which disheartened many supporters. But there were other potential recruits in the January transfer window, including someone who enjoyed the best form of his career at Elland Road.
According to the Yorkshire Post, Leeds were interested in bringing Ross McCormack back into the fold to lead the line. The Scottish international is out of favour at Aston Villa and was recently shipped out on a short but successful loan to Melbourne City, where he bagged 14 goals in 16 outings. The 31-year-old clearly hasn’t lost his eye for goal and, if Leeds could help him recapture his prolific form of old, McCormack could easily have helped United march on in their promotion bid.
Between 2010 and 2014, the Aston Villa man scored 53 goals in 144 league appearances for the West Yorkshire outfit, prompting a £11 million move to Fulham, where he was also explosive in front of goal.
The deal did seemed to hit a stumbling block with McCormack, as the player has already played for two teams this season and may not be allowed to join a third. If this is the case, Leeds had to cast their gaze elsewhere and this is where their latest £2.5million signing Tyler Roberts will come into play. However, investing so heavily in another young forward Luke mean that Leeds are prepared to wait till next season for their promotion push.
Tricky Times Ahead
There are seriously difficult times ahead, which won’t be helped with the absence of key players Samuel Saiz and Eunan O’Kane. After dropping out of the playoff positions, Leeds are at risk of slipping further down the table when they face stern tests against seven of the top eight teams in the next eight fixtures.
With the departure of Thomas Christiansen and the appointment of Paul Heckingbottom, the new head coach will see all of these games as six-pointers and must look to go for the jugular and claim the win each time. To be able to do that, he needs a striker at his disposal who will constantly cause problems for the opposition defenders.
Leeds have four strikers at their disposal in Lasogga, Roofe, Roberts and Grot and the hope is that one man can fill the void left by missing out on a missed opportunity in January.
In the coming games one man will need to stand up and be counted, who’s your choice?