Friday, March 31, 2023

Leeds United Turn Their Attention To This Middlesbrough Marksman: Why He Is An Ideal Choice

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

If reports are to be believed then Championship club Leeds United are eyeing a move for Rudy Gestede as the replacement for their departed star striker Chris Wood to Premier League club Burnley. Although Gestede has been one of the main players for Garry Monk and have reportedly rejected a £5.5 million bid for him already, the Whites are expected to come back with a higher bid.

Leeds have started in a decent way, winning twice and drawing two games and a proven striker remains their immediate priority with very little available to them as options. Despite starting the first game on the bench as Middlesbrough lost to Wolverhampton, Gestede has started the rest mostly even managing to score one goal and provide two assists in four games.

Boro have a plethora of striking options at their disposal with the arrival of Britt Assombalonga, Martin Braithwaite and Ashley Fletcher, all making them stronger up front. It only makes Thomas Christiansen all the more determined about landing the striker who won’t be missed much at Riverside. Wood had already started weaving his magic yet again this season scoring once and providing the same in three games and Leeds know it will be difficult to fill that gap with similar productivity.

Arsenal’s Chuba Akpom remains a top priority but someone, as experienced as Gestede, should be just perfect for the Spanish manager, who has the artillery in his midfield and wide positions, which can work wonders with a proper centre forward. The Benin international had made his way to the Premier League only last winter but couldn’t save Boro from relegation at the end of the season.

However, Gestede remains a favourite in the Championship. At 193cm, the player could be a major addition for any club owing to his brilliant aerial abilities blended with good finishing. He knows how to use his raw strength optimally that enables him to hold off players while on the counter. While poor defensive abilities are one of his weak points, Christiansen won’t be much bothered by it.

Leeds United have shown excellent attacking play under the Spaniard and a target man like him with such a good presence up front could be massively helpful for them. Leeds still have Souleymane Doukara and Caleb Ekuban though the latter is on his way out, who can take the centre forward role and Gestede will bring more competition to the position.

Since moving to Cardiff City from Ligue 1 side FC Metz, Gestede has been on and off the first and second-tier football in England. And he has clearly been more successful in the Championship with 44 goals and 16 assists in 140 games.

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