Leeds United enjoyed a successful 2016-17 Championship campaign under Garry Monk and despite narrowly missing out on a top-six finish, the ex-Swansea City defender was able to regain Leeds’ lost pride to some extent. However, their upsurge suffered a major blow when Monk decided to step down as Leeds boss and opted to join Middlesbrough instead.
His decision left the fans baffled and the management in shock. Andrea Radrizziani, the club’s owner, however, took no time to replace Monk and appointed Thomas Christiansen as new Leeds United manager following his Cypriot First Division winning campaign with APOEL.
Christiansen, the former Spanish international striker, has been a surprise pick for the prestigious job who reportedly looked impressive and convinced the owner during his interview. The gaffer now has to keep hold of his star performers, particularly Chris Wood, who scored 30 goals in all competitions during the 2016-17 season.
Amidst interests from Premier League new boys Huddersfield Town, the New Zealand marksman has hailed the appointment of Christiansen which has relieved the fans temporarily who have been sweating over his Leeds’ future.
The gaffer, meanwhile, has already dived into the transfer market following his confirmation as Leeds’ boss last week. He is reportedly using his influence in order to bring in former England U21 forward Matt Derbyshire who miraculously revived his club career with Cypriot First Division outfit Omonia scoring 24 times in 33 league appearances that earned him the Golden Boot for netting the most number of goals in 2016-17 Cypriot First Division campaign.
Christiansen closely monitored Derbyshire during his managerial spell with APOEL and is impressed with his goal-poaching traits. The 31-year old forward was one of England’s rising stars a decade back when he performed regularly with the U21s and netted 4 times in 14 appearances between 2007–2009.
Derbyshire, who had some impressive seasons with Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League and Superleague Greece outfit Olympiacos, failed to match the hype generated by the English media as he struggled to get enough game-time and failed to impress in lower divisions of English football. Following a two-year spell with Championship outfit Rotherham United, Derbyshire decided to join Cypriot outfit Omonia on a free transfer.
The Englishman, who scored 24 Championship goals in 98 outings during three previous campaigns, eventually matched the exact figure in a 1/3rd number of games for his new side.
The forward, who now has his confidence back, is open to a move to his homeland and is optimistic about replicating similar scoring run. But Christiansen is not the only admirer of Derbyshire as he might have to face a stern contest from Greek outfit Panathinaikos to land the Englishman.
The signing of Matt Derbyshire might ease the pressure off Chris Wood and his vast experience in football league will enhance their odds to achieve a promotion next year.
Nevertheless, Christiansen’s biggest job as Leeds’ boss will be to keep hold of his star striker Chris Wood who will attract the interest of several Premier League outfits in coming weeks.
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