According to sport journalist Pete O’Rourke, writing for Football Insider, and written about here on the72, Leeds United are looking to beat fellow Sky bet Championship duo Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers to Derby County striker Cameron Jerome.
Leeds United are playing a blinding style of football under new boss Marcelo Bielsa, a style where opponents, including Jerome’s current side Derby County, are stifled before being simply swept aside by constant waves of Leeds United attacks. Good sides seem to bend, warp, buckle and then crumble as Leeds continue to hammer at them.
It’s a very carefully thought-out style of play that is orchestrated by Bielsa, who sits pitch-side on his now-customary blue bucket. It’s been a case of so far, so good for his Leeds United side who’ve beaten Stoke City (3-1), Derby County (4-1) and last time out Rotherham United (2-0) and are yet to concede from open play.
Fluid transition from defensive situations into attack has seen the Whites play some scintillating football and their high-intensity, high-press game has proven to be difficult to deal with. Bielsa has his idea almost set in stone and one of these is a pared down squad which he has kept for the purpose of giving players regular game time.
That’s one reason Leeds United should abandon any pursuit for Cameron Jerome, he’d not really see a meaningful contribution in Bielsa’s pared down squad, a squad where players are expected to play in more than one way/manner. It is a frontline led by former Oxford United striker Kemar Roofe who has gone from sporadically inconsistent last season to glowing hot so far this season – hitting his third in three games with the second against Rotherham at the weekend.
Whilst there is little doubt that Jerome is a striker of some renown, he’s got 32 and 80 goals at Premier League and Championship level respectively, there is a big doubt whether he’d accept a minor role at Elland Road with Leeds United. By minor I mean he’d sign for the Whites knowing that he’d be behind Roofe, and likely even behind Patrick Bamford. I mean there’s no way that Leeds United, with a squad under such tight guidelines, would pay £7million, rising to £10million, for a player such as Bamford and then put a newly signed Cameron Jerome above him.
Then there’s his age. Jerome is 32 and, whilst age brings experience, age seems to be not what Bielsa wants. Commenting on recent rumours of players possibly heading out of Elland Road, Bielsa was complimentary about youth saying a coach can lay an individual stamp on a young player, tease out that level of performance that accelerates improvement. He also intimated that this isn’t something easily achieved with older players – although that isn’t a criticism.
There are likely more reasons why Leeds United should abandon their supposed ‘pursuit’ of Cameron Jerome, indeed likely many, many more. But it the cold, hard light of reality Leeds United fans will likely turn around and say “Thanks, but no thanks,” when it comes to whether the Whites should bring in Cameron Jerome from Derby County.