Friday, December 2, 2022

Leeds United Holding Out On Confirmation Of Serie B Forward Signing: Should They Look Elsewhere?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

According to latest reports, Leeds United have been handed a deadline to confirm the signing of Jerry Mbakogu from Carpi FC. The Serie B management has informed the Whites to complete all the paperwork latest by 30th June. The deal is reported to be worth £3.5m since negotiations for the striker first began in the January transfer window.

After much drama between the two parties over a failed loan move and the final transfer price, the layout of the deal has finally been set but United seem hesitant for some reason. That particular reason would be Hull City’s out-of-contract striker, Abel Hernandez.

The latter will be in the market for a free pickup in the coming weeks and the Peacocks are still holding out on the possibilities of signing him. Any fan or viewer who has followed the transfer dealings of Leeds in the near past will hedge towards getting Hernandez over Mbakogu for the most obvious reasons.

The Tigers striker has spent much of his playing career in England and is well tested in both Premier League and Championship waters. Mbakogu is not! The 25-year-old who is also born of Nigerian descent scored just 8 times in a total 28 appearances, 6 of them scored in the Serie B, whereas Hernandez managed to rack in the same number of goals in just 10 games last term.

Mbakogu was born in Lagos but immediately shifted to Italy with his family. He developed his game within Padova youth academy, having joined them at 14. He had to earn his on-pitch minutes by impressing through the youth ranks, eventually denied a starting XI spot and loaned out to Palermo. The Nigerian’s Serie B debut came in August 2010 in a 1-1 draw against Crotone.

He has racked up 37 goals and 21 assists in total 132 appearances for Carpi and has greatly improved as a professional but is still miles beyond the talents of Hernandez. The Uruguay international could play in the FIFA World Cup behind the likes of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

Hernandez is much more athletic and pacey on the dribble. He has the strength to hold up the ball and has over 100 appearances for Hull City. He has been a sure hit in the Championship and Mbakogu could be a gamble.

Read More: Leeds United In Dilemma Over Choosing The Right Option To Lead The Attack: Who Should They Go For?

It would be wise to pay Hernandez the £40,000 or higher per week or else suffer through the same uncertainty of bringing in inexperienced forwards from another league, as they did with Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Pawel Cibicki the last term. Mbakogu could be cheap now but could end costing the side more in the near future.

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