A lot was made of Leeds United’s lack of striker in the January transfer window. Fans feared the worst with Patrick Bamford struggling for goals and Eddie Nketiah going back to Arsenal. The Whites managed to sign a striker in the latter half of the transfer window in the form of Jean-Kevin Augustin. However, the French striker has barely contributed at Elland Road so far.
Augustin has struggled for fitness and is currently out with a hamstring injury. He did make three appearances as a substitute, but he certainly looked off the pace of the game. Many saw it as a significant coup when the Yorkshire side were able to get him as Augustin had the experience of playing top-flight and European football. However, that bubble has burst according to Noel Whelan, and he believes that signing the striker permanently in the summer if the Whites get promoted would be a significant risk.
Whelan gives his verdict on signing Augustin
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan said, ” I think it would be a significant risk signing him. I do not think there is any point. He is not going to contribute anything this year, that is for sure. Despite what people may think, that he is a £40million player, to get that kind of a price tag you have got to be fit and be banging in 25 goals a season, three on the bounce.”
”He is not going to do that. He is not going to do it next year in the Premier League, that would be too much for him. One game in eight months he has played. We need more strikers, probably three. If he is going to be signed, it cannot be on the back of what he has done so far because he has done nothing.”
Why Augustin needs to be given some game time before deciding on his future?
Whelan might be right in abstract, but it’s tough to pass judgement on a striker who has barely featured. We still believe that there is a player in him and if he can show some glimpses of promise this season, then it would be easy for United to decide on his future.
Leeds United anyway don’t need to pay £40m odd to get him in the summer. As Phil Hay reported, the Whites can sign Augustin for £17m if they get promoted. Given that he is still 22, we believe he could still turn around his career and justify that price tag.
However, if Augustin fails to have any kind of impact from now until the end of the season, then some might feel that the Whites would be better off signing someone else with the riches from Premier League promotion. But, we still think that Augustin should be judged after receiving a decent amount of game time in the first team.
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