It is massively evident that Leeds United have needed a second striking option for the most part this season, with Patrick Bamford struggling to finish the majority of chances created for him. The fans have been patient, but the current blip befitting the team in West Yorkshire has hyped up the intensity for a second hit man being brought through the door.
Rumours began escalating about Leeds’ major interest in Southampton striker Che Adams, with Marcelo Bielsa apparently naming the 23-year-old, former Birmingham front-man as his main target this window, but, although Phil Hay of The Athletic reported that a deal was more or less in place for Adams with the hierarchy at St Mary’s, current manager, Ralph Hasenhuttl, has dug his heels firmly in regarding Adams and this has made Leeds totally switch direction and look at alternative options in order to avoid a ‘Dan James’ scenario again.
Rumours are now growing of Leeds United’s interest in Watford forward Andre Gray (28), as his opportunities with the Hornets have been limited of late and his goal record in the Championship is something that The Whites could really do with in the run-in.
Phil Hay has moved to confirm Leeds’ interest in Gray…
there’s been contact there. Watford said no initially but there’s more willingness to deal there now.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) January 19, 2020
So, just what qualities would Leeds United be bringing to Elland Road should a deal get done for Andre Gray?
Well, the Wolverhampton -born striker is a very powerful player with bags of pace, a willingness to work hard and an eye for goal… especially at Championship level, so he could be a major boost for the Whites as they fight to regain their form and reaffirm themselves atop the Championship table as they look to gain promotion to the Premier League at Marcelo Bielsa’s second bite of the cherry.
His stats are impressive enough, with a total of one hundred and sixty four goals from his overall four hundred and twenty five appearances at all levels since starting his career at Shrewsbury Town in 2009, most of those goals came in a run with Luton Town, then in the Conference Premier as he bagged fifty two goals in ninety seven appearances.
But his form at Championship level is just as impressive, scoring forty one goals in eight eight games for Burnley and Brentford between 2014 and 2017, so he is no stranger to what it takes to succeed at that level.
The only real stumbling block for Leeds would be that he is currently earning north of £50,000 per week, something that the club would have to at least match should they enter into an agreement that see’s them committing to a permanent transfer in the summer following an initial loan that could also generate a £2m loan fee.
He should integrate fairly well into a Bielsa system with his work-rate and dynamism, but what would the fans think should the club do the deal?
Would he be the answer to their current hoodoo in front of goal?