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Çani? Can’t he? Will the giant Albanian provide his worth at Leeds United?

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of one of the greatest actors of world comedy, a particular favourite actor of Albanian audiences and one of the dearest friends of our nation, Sir Norman Wisdom.”

The above are the words of Albanian president, Sali Berisha upon hearing of the death of British comedy icon, Sir Norman Wisdom. Even though he was a bit on the short side, Sir Norman Wisdom was big in Albania.

Talking of ‘big in Albania’, Leeds United’s latest signing, Edgar Çani, certainly fits that particular bill. Coming in at an impressive 6ft 4-inch in height, the Albanian definitely fits that bill; he is the protoypical ‘big man’, the target man for Leeds’ new ‘4-2-3-1’ formation. Leeds fans got their first glimpse of Edgar Çani when he played the last 12 minutes of the loss to Brentford. Çani has signed on a half-season loan from Italian Serie B side Catania, with the option of a final signing fee of around €600,000. With such limited game time, even Leeds United fans would be hard-pressed to judge him on 12 minutes of action, what can Leeds expect from their new recruit?

This season, for Catania in Serie B, Edgar Çani has played for 654 minutes over 15 appearances. In these 654 minutes, Çani has notched 3 goals at the rate of 218 minutes per goal. He has also laid on or provided 4 goal assists for teammates at an average of 163 minutes per assist. With regard to his full career, Edgar Çani has played 9,568 minutes of football and has scored 37 goals (at the rate of 258 minutes per goal); he has also created 13 goal assists over his career (at the rate of 736 minutes per goal assist). Added to that is 935 minutes played for the full Albanian national side, in friendly games and competitive internationals, and a total of 4 goals   at the rate of a goal per 235 minutes.

The records available indicate that he isn’t the most prolific of scorers, for example his career 258 minutes per goal total is good for 16 goals over the course of a full 46-game Championship season. The thing is, we don’t have even half a season left. I think most Leeds United fans will agree that even though the new tactical formation is working better than the ‘4-4-2 diamond’ from 2014, the experiment with Steve Morison hasn’t quite worked out. Maybe it’d be a Çani move to play the Albanian in the lone striker role; it’d at least show a little more ‘Wisdom’.


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