It was simply a case of Leeds United not being able to replace the 27 league goals of Chris Wood that accounted for some of the Whites struggles and losses last season.
27 goals from one striker is a hefty amount of goals to replace in one go, and that is just what Leeds United fans found out. Leading scorer Kemar Roofe netted 11 times and on-loan German striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga scored on 10 occasions but neither was consistent.
That lack of consistency, coupled with the more than sporadic nature of their scoring marked the duo as not the strikers needed to drive the scoring at Leeds United. Goals are what are needed to drive a successful promotion bid by the Whites, and they tend to come from strikers playing at the head of the side.
With that in mind, here are the six strikers that could be of benefit to Leeds United as they look for a promotion push next season.
Jerry Mbakogu – Carpi
Already subject to a gentlemen’s agreement and pre-purchase agreement, Carpi’s Mbakogu has already been linked to Leeds United. It is fair to say that it is a link that hasn’t received much support, for a number of reasons. Chief amongst these reasons is that he hardly possesses a sparkling goal return from last season – he only scored six times in an injury-hit 2017/18 Serie B campaign.
Of course the thinking behind any potential arrival is that he has the untapped potential to score more when exposed to the better service that Leeds United’s attacking midfield could provide him with. The rumours doing the rounds are that the agreed deal has been sealed for around £3 million and that an announcement is to be made before June 30.
Degree of fit for Leeds United 2/10
Chance of it happening: 4/10
Ross McCormack – Aston Villa
Ross McCormack and Leeds United know each other well, the Scot obviously being a former White from August 2010 to July 2014. During his time at Elland Road, the now 31-year-old featured in 157 games for United, scoring 58 goals and providing 31 assists. He was a Golden Boot 28-goal/10-assist player for the Whites during the 2013/14 Championship season.
A move to Fulham, with £11 million banked by Leeds saw McCormack continue his goalscoring exploits with 42 goals and 22 assists in 100 games for the now Premier League side. A near £13 million move to Villa Park in August 2016 has seen the 13-cap Scotland international score just three times in 24 games. More worryingly for Villa is his attitude to training, with a bust up over training leading to his ostracising by Steve Bruce and eventual loan to Melbourne City in Australia’s A-League. His three months in Australia saw him net 14 goals in just 17 games.
With Villa looking at shedding players, someone with the baggage Ross McCormack would come with might be a player they are looking to offload.
Degree of fit for Leeds United 6/10
Chance of it happening: 2/10
Fernando Forestieri – Sheffield Wednesday
Argentinian/Italian Forestieri came close to joining Leeds United before signing for Sheffield Wednesday form Watford for £3.7 million in late August 2015. United wanted him on loan, but Watford were reluctant in agreeing the temporary deal and favoured a permanent move away from Vicarage Road for the forward. However, Forestieri was reluctant to move to West Yorkshire and join up with Leeds United.
Put all that aside, it’s three years of water under the bridge – instead focus on Forestieri as a player. He has skill and potential and more than an eye for goal in him. In his 88 games for Sheffield Wednesday since his move to the club, he had scored 32 goals and provided for another 15 by means of assists. Whether these figures mark him out to be the out-and-out striker that Leeds United need is another story, but he’d be a welcome addition in adding goals and guile up front.
Degree of fit for Leeds United 6/10
Chance of it happening: 3/10
Jordan Rhodes – Sheffield Wednesday
Rhodes has one thing in him that Leeds United need – the potential for goals. He’s shown this across his career – 196 goals from 424 games at the rate of a goal every 159 minutes. Whilst he has not been so prolific for recent clubs Sheffield Wednesday (55 games/10 goals) and Middlesbrough (24 games/6 goals), there is hope to be had in his record whilst at former clubs Blackburn Rovers (169 games/84 goals) and Huddersfield Town (147 games/86 goals).
With Leeds United looking for goals, and with a bristling attacking three that has Pablo Hernandez, Samu Saiz and Ezgjan Alioski feeding a striker, someone like Jordan Rhodes would blossom. There’s no doubt he can score goals, that he has goals in him – something that would enamour him to Leeds United fans. With goals at a premium for United, they could do worse than looking at Jordan Rhodes. Price might be more than a little tasty what with the Owls only paying Middlesbrough £10.5 million to bring him to Hillsborough last July after a half-season loan deal.
Degree of fit for Leeds United 7/10
Chance of it happening: 3/10
Leeds United fans want goals, Jack Marriott scores goals – a lot of them. That there is the solution of Leeds United’s problems in one phone call and one man – or so you’d think. Marriott arrived at current club Peterborough United only at the start of last season, the 23-year-old former Ipswich youngster moving from Luton Town in a said near £450,000 deal. If goals are worth £s then Marriott more than repaid Peterborough with 27 League One goals last season.
That’s the same number of goals that Leeds United were missing from one striker last season. Marriott showed that he was able to make the leap to League One from League Two where he scored 22 goals in 79 games for Luton Town. Leeds United have made similar purchases from lower leagues, bringing in free-scoring Kemar Roofe from Oxford United, Roofe scoring the goals that fired Oxford to League One. United have been linked with Marriott for some time now, and the odds of him arriving are steady at 4/1. Be a big price to get the 23-year-old Beverley-born striker away from Peterborough though.]
Degree of fit for Leeds United 8/10
Chance of it happening: 5/10
Quite simply there’s a reason why Abel Hernandez has been made such a major target by Leeds United this summer – goals. Nothing more really to say than that, Abel Hernandez will get Leeds United goals in the Sky Bet Championship. He’s proven that with current club Hull City, who he is about to leave at the end of June after refusing the offer of a new deal.
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 the marquee signing. What a marquee signing the 29-cap Uruguayan international striker would be. In Hernandez Leeds United would have the goal threat to mount a serious promotion charge, especially with that talented attacking three behind him.
To put it quite bluntly, Leeds United would be absolutely stupid beyond belief to let any chance of bringing in a player as talented and as able as Hernandez to slip through their fingers. figures might need adjusting, a deal might need restructuring. But if Leeds United are going to stand any chance of going up next season, they need Uruguayan striker Hernandez to be ready and Abel.
Degree of fit for Leeds United 10/10
Chance of it happening: 7/10