When Garry Monk took over at Swansea City from Michael Laudrup some years back, he did make a strong mark and people started dubbing him as one of the most promising managers in Europe. His impact slowly faded away at the Liberty Stadium before they eventually parted ways with him, though. Despite that, Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino showed faith in the young manager and it looks like he did nothing wrong. After so many years, the Whites are in proper contention for a playoff spot and could return to the Premier League next season if they can keep up their form.
However, there is no room for complacency for the Whites as the race for the playoffs is heating up with third-placed Reading are separated from 13-placed Aston Villa by just nine points. One loss could change the whole equation and to be on safe side, Leeds should bolster their squad in January. According to recent reports, Leeds United are in talks with West Ham United over a deal to sign young striker Ashley Fletcher in the upcoming winter transfer window.
Here is a SWOT analysis of the West Ham striker who could be on his way to Elland Road in January.
Fletcher is a strong and big forward and is best deployed as a target man. However, he is not a static target-man. The 21-year-old is quite a mobile forward and has good dribbling skills. He possesses excellent athleticism and willingness to contribute to the team which will prove to be an invaluable addition to Leeds.
The only problem with Fletcher is his lack of experience. He hardly played Premier League football for West Ham. Neither is he proven in the Championship. His lack of experience is the only thing that provides any kind of risk factor in a potential deal. However, you do not get experience overnight. With the potential Fletcher has, he should do quite well in the championship.
Chris Wood has been excellent in front of the goal this season having scored 14 goals in just 25 games but Leeds do lack a quality striker who can deputise for the Kiwi international in his absence. Marcus Antonsson has been a huge flop at Elland Road since his summer switch and there is no other option at Monk’s disposal. For this reason, Fletcher can easily get plenty of playing time even by deputising for Wood up front. West Ham are likely to sign attacking reinforcements in winter which will limit his first-team opportunities meaning that a move to Leeds will be appealing for him.
Leeds are in no position to take any kind of gamble. They desperately need a quality striker who can fill in Wood’s shoes when he is absent or possible someone who can push his for a place in the starting XI. Fletcher’s lack of experience and the fact that he is not a proven striker at the top level, is a big threat.