Leeds United suffered in front of both goals last season. They were far too generous in front of their own goal, far too non-productive at the other end of the pitch.
The Whites were a side who really suffered the consistency that Chris Wood’s 27 Sky Bet Championship goals brought in 2016/17 – a season where United finished a credible 7th in the table after a late slump in form.
There was no late slump in form this season just past; take out the word ‘late’ and substitute in the word ‘frequent’ – that was last season. Jokiness aside, Leeds did moss Wood’s goals. The 11 provided by top scorer Kemar Roofe and 10 by loanee Pierre-Michel Lasogga were welcome, if too infrequent.
Whereas Wood was Mr Consistent in front of goal, Roofe was Mr Inconsistent and Lasogga Herr Sporadic. The goals weren’t there, and the goals weren’t consistent enough to fuel a concerted drive up the table. It was obvious that goals were needed – which is why fans were ecstatic over news linking them with Hull City want-away striker Abel Hernandez.
The Urguayan arrived at Hull City for a fee of £10 million, signing on from Italian side Palermo in September 2014. The 29-cap forward has declined a contract extension at the KCOM and will see his current deal end on June 30 – little over a month away. His refusal to sign a new deal has seen Leeds United target him as their #1 priority for the upcoming campaign.
He’s a prolific striker at Championship level, featuring in 49 games for the Tigers in the Championship and scoring 28 goals as well as providing four assists. In an injury-hit 2017/18 campaign, where he missed six months with an Achilles injury, Hernandez still managed to score eight times in 10 games.
Whilst there is still some hammering out of particulars, especially with regard to the Uruguayan’s £40,000-per-week wage, many think that Leeds are still in with a good chance of landing what would be their marquee signing of the summer window.
Bet Victor certainly do. According to their online site, Leeds United are odds-on favourites at 1/2 to land the proven Championship striker with Premier League capabilities. These low odds still place them above a pack of other sides seen as being interested in bringing him onboard – headed by cash-troubled Aston Villa at odds of 2/1. Those extremely short odds for Leeds to win the race have come about with the Whites coming in from further out in the betting.
However, since that initial interest, very little of substance has come out about Leeds United’s pursuit of the no-doubt talented frontman. The latest to be broached on the subject is via the Twitter feed (below) of Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Lee Sobot in reply to a Leeds United fan’s question.
Not getting the sense anything is particularly close signings wise – club obviously want Abel Hernandez, Kyle Bartley and Angus Gunn. There are other options too. It’s wait and see over Heckingbottom.
— Lee Sobot (@LeeSobotYEP) May 29, 2018
What that exchange sums up is both sides of the coin; on one side impatient and suspicious Leeds United fans and on the other a slight indication that the Whites are still ‘wanting’ to bring in Hernandez.
However, ‘wanting’ and ‘doing’ are different actions and are at different places in the dictionary. Low odds are one thing, but they don’t guarantee players coming through the doors. As the saying goes, promises of food are cold comfort to a hungry man.