A busy summer is awaiting at Elland Road despite the misfortunes of the 2017-18 season and the supporters, dejected a few weeks ago, are rejuvenated once more following the official confirmation of iconic Marcelo Bielsa’s appointment as the new Leeds United boss.
The upsurge under Garry Monk did not last long as the Swansea City legend opted to step down after only one season in charge and the gamble of electing little-known Thomas Christiansen as the next Leeds manager did not work out for the once prestigious English outfit. A bright start ended in catastrophe and Paul Heckingbottom, his successor for final four months, managed to claim only four victories in his short stint in West Yorkshire.
But credits to owner Andrea Radrizzani who convinced someone of Bielsa’s stature to join a midtable Championship outfit and the masterstroke is tipped to secure a much-awaited Premier League return, with proper financial backing while reconfiguring the depleted Whites, this summer.
Leeds are after several resources to strengthen themselves this summer and are confident of luring in talents using the influence and ascendancy of the former Argentina and Chile chief. The Peacocks are keen on strengthening multiple slots and the scarcity of goals high up the pitch has been a major concern.
They have been monitoring players who fit in their setup and Jerry Mbakogu, the Carpi forward, was one of their prime transfer targets in recent months. Although Leeds were reportedly negotiating a transfer fee, the talks seem to have cooled down of late and it is quite likely for the Whites to have shifted their focus from the 25-year-old Nigerian centre-forward for more prolific options.
Bielsa, the 62-year-old veteran, hailed as one of the pioneers of modern-day football, is reportedly eyeing a swoop for Abel Hernandez now. The Uruguayan marksman is now available on a Bosman move upon expiration of his contract at Hull City.
Although Mbakogu offers flexibility high up the pitch due to an adaptability to feature down the wings, his numbers in Serie B have been quite underwhelming this term with only six goals and three assists in 26 league outings. Leeds have the likes of Kemar Roofe, Ezgjan Alioski, Hadi Sacko and veteran Pablo Hernandez, who can play in wide roles and the Nigerian is unlikely to be an upgrade on what the squad currently hold.
Leeds, meanwhile, require an outright goal-scorer who will be close to what Chris Wood used to offer before leaving for Burnley and the highly-experienced Hernandez will be a better prospect to sort out their striker conundrum. It is yet to be seen whether Bielsa sanctions a move for Mbakogu, the Peacocks, nevertheless, are tipped to be engaged in more enticing and high-profile transfer business in coming days.
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