Leeds United are chasing Metz forward Habib Diallo - A good option for Bielsa?
Metz' Senegalese forward Habib Diallo (C) celebrates after scoring during the French L1 football match between Metz (FCM) and Nantes (FCN) at Saint Symphorien stadium in Longeville-les-Metz, eastern France, on October 19, 2019. (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP via Getty Images)

According to Le Foot, Leeds United are among the clubs monitoring the situation of Habib Diallo. The Metz forward is expected to leave in the summer, with the club ready to cash in amid a Coronavirus crisis that has created financial shortcomings for many small clubs across Europe. However, the Whites could face stiff competition from Leicester City, Chelsea and Crystal Palace in the pursuit of Diallo.

Habib Diallo’s success at Metz

Diallo’s rise to prominence at Metz began in the 2018/19 campaign when he returned from his loan spell at Stade Brest. He ended up scoring a whopping 26 goals in 37 matches in Ligue 2, helping Metz gain promotion to the top flight. Only Stade Brest’s Gaetan Charbonnier managed to score more goals than Diallo in that corresponding campaign.

This season, the Senegalese forward has managed to replicate his performances in Ligue 1. He has already netted 12 times in 26 league matches so far. His contributions in front of goal have been critical as Metz are somehow staying out of the relegation scrap for the time being.

What can he offer to the table?

Diallo may not be the most complete forward in Europe. He is not as technically astute as other Ligue 1 attackers and has notably averaged 3.3 unsuccessful touches on the ball per game this season. But, what he lacks in technicality, he more than makes up for it with his physical prowess and an eye to find the back of the net.

Metz’ Senegalese forward Habib Diallo celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Metz (FCM) and Monaco (ASM) at Saint Symphorien stadium in Longeville-Les-Metz, eastern France, on August 17, 2019. (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN / AFP via Getty Images)

Indeed, Diallo is always keen on testing the goalkeeper. He has attempted almost three shots on goal per game. Moreover, the 24-year-old has won a whopping 4.3 aerial duels per game, mainly thanks to his 1.86m frame that gives him a significant advantage in the air. His intimidating figure also becomes helpful in physical one v one battles.

Do Leeds United really need Diallo?

Leeds United have been the best team in the Championship this season. But, their effectiveness in front of the goal must improve if they are to thrive in the Premier League.

The club’s top scorer Patrick Bamford, despite all his qualities, is not exactly a goal-scoring forward. Meanwhile, new signing Jean-Kevin Augustin has barely had a chance to impress since joining on loan from RB Leipzig. It remains a doubt whether Leeds United will want to keep hold of him beyond this summer when his contract expires.

That’s where the potential addition of Diallo could be useful. The Metz star is a clinical forward, who can provide that added bite in the Leeds United attack. He can make use of his chances, which is set to be crucial in the club’s bid to survive in the English top flight.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

Jack O’Brien

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.