Leeds United are a side crying out for a goal-laden striker, at least that’s what some of their fans are arguing on social media.
Whilst the Whites currently ride high in second place, they are also riding their luck, to some degree, with their profligacy in front of goal. Many chances are being created, only some of these being converted. That’s where the problem lies in the eyes of these fans clamouring for a striker with goals in them.
One striker that would fit the bill is Kasimpasa forward Mbaye Diagne, a player who the Whites are interested in according to website Turkish Football. They say that Leeds are interested, referencing his agent, Ediz Balkan, who they say “has made it clear” to them that United are one of several interested clubs after his charge’s services.
Leeds are not alone in their supposed interest in Diagne, he has also been targeted by the Whites’ fellow Championship sides Reading and Hull City with Premier League Bournemouth also said to have sniffed around a little.
The Dakar-born Senegalese international first made the step into European football in late August 2013, brought in from his homeland by Italian giants Juventus. Whilst not making the breakthrough at Juventus, he more than made his name on loan deals out of the Italian giants to the likes of Lierse SK (11 games/7 goals) and KVC Westerlo (11 games/3 goals) in the Belgian leagues.
Let go by Juventus, Diagne first moved to Ujpest FC in Hungary (16 games/11 goals/2 assists) for £1million, before a £1.7million move to TJ Teda (45 games/15 goals/6 assists) in the Chinese Super League. His final move was mid-January this year to the Turkish Super Lig with Kasimpasa – a move where he’s continued his scoring streak.
Since his move to Turkey, Diagne has hit 23 goals in just 27 games for Kasimpasa – these goals coming at the rate of a goal per 93 minutes. Last season he scored 12 in 17 appearances; this season it is 11 in just 10 games – this giving him a goal every 81 minutes of play. He’s only failed to score twice, in the 4-2 loss to Trabonzspor nad the 3-1 win over Goztepe.
It was said that initial negotiations between Leeds United and Diagne broke down over the issue of him needing a work permit. However, the linked article (above) say that this issue will be sorted and that “he [Diagne] will have an EU passport in 2018.”
Leeds, as mentioned, aren’t blessed at the moment with prolific strikers, having only Kemar Roofe and Tyler Roberts as fit frontmen. Of course, £7million buy Patrick Bamford is still recovering from his injury suffered whilst playing for the Under-23s, and Leeds do still have the option of dipping into the Under-23s for the likes of Ryan Edmondson.
Whether they go in for Diagne, or anyone, in January remains to be seen. At the moment, what with the three-cap Senegalese international scoring at a healthy rate, it does look a tasty proposition. However, it depends on the direction that Marcelo Bielsa feels Leeds United have to take as they navigate that tricky period from January until the season’s end in May.