Leeds United were a side who, through hard graft and endeavour, were able to post a finish that their fans could only have dreamed of when finishing 7th last season.
The Whites were in the play-off places for a 26 game, 142 day, span before dropping from 6th to 7th after a 1-0 home defeat against Wolves with just three games left. A loss away to Burton Albion in the following game compounded Leeds’ position, something made more so after improved Fulham form in the vital run-in.
What was abundantly clear for Whites fans was that grit and determination were only two traits that got the team so far, but deep down Leeds fans will be quick to accept that the success of last season was largely driven on the back of the 27 goals scored by Kiwi international captain Chris Wood.
There have been calls for the Whites to look for a different/alternative goal outlet, fans being quite vociferous on this front. Various names have been mentioned, such as former target Ashley Fletcher and League Two hotshot in Exeter City’s Ollie Watkins. There’s been no movement of note, apart from rumour, on the Watkins front and it appears that former target Fletcher will be priced out of Leeds’ cheque book range.
Another former ‘target’ that the Whites may wish to revisit is Arsenal’s recently released young striker Yaya Sanogo. According to The Sun’s Mike McGrath at the end of August last year, former Leeds United head coach/manager Garry Monk was deadly interested in bringing Massy-born Sanogo to Elland Road on loan.
This loan move was “blocked” by Arsenal maestro and long-term manager Arsene Wenger who told the Championship outfit at the time that he intended “to keep the French striker at the Emirates Stadium.”
Suffering from a near year-long calf injury, Sanogo was absent from April 2016 until the start of March this year. The young Frenchman missed 79 games, returning from injury for three Premier League 2 games for Arsenal’s Under-23s towards the end of the season. In this trio of games, the youngster scored four goals including a hat-trick against Reading’s Under-23 side.
A free agent, who already has experience of playing Championship football with Charlton Athletic after an eight game spell in the 2015/16 season, Sangogo would be an interesting player to look at. He scored three times in that eight-game Addicks spell, ironically against Reading in a 4-3 loss, before suffering his year-long calf injury.
6ft 3in Sanogo has featured for France at all youth levels from Under-16 to Under-20 with a collective 62 games under his belt, 62 games in which the bustling centre-forward has scored 39 international goals.
It could be time for the Whites to revisit old ground and bring once-targeted Sanogo to Elland Road.