Championship

Leeds simply have to rival and indeed beat Stoke to signature of £9m-rated striking star

Leeds United supporters have been pretty happy in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their team finish the 2017/18 Championship campaign on a high courtesy of a 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.

Paul Heckingbottom’s men went into their final day clash with the London outfit having won just one of their preceding six league games, a run of form which has very much kept the jury out on head coach Heckingbottom. However, his cause would no doubt have been helped on Sunday at Elland Road as goals from Kemar Roofe and Kalvin Phillips sealed a routine victory for the Whites, thus seeing them finish the season in 13th place in the table, 15 points off the play-offs.

Subsequently, while it has not been a brilliant campaign for our resident Leeds supporters, they have at least been in pretty high spirits this week after Sunday’s win, with many well aware of the job that needs doing over the summer to transform their club into promotion contenders next time round.

In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Leeds fans to discuss, not least recent reports linking relegated Stoke City with a summer move for Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle.

Yet if Leeds are serious about a promotion push next season, they simply must seek to beat the Potters to the signature of the £9 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt), as he proved just a matter of years ago that he is a class act at Championship level.

Ultimately, the 28-year-old has struggled to recreate his second tier form in the top-flight for Rafa Benitez’s side this season, with just five goals to show for his 33 Premier League appearances so far.

Quite simply, the former Crystal Palace forward has looked a shadow of the forward that fired home 23 goals in just 32 Championship appearances for the Magpies in the 2016/17 season, perhaps furthering the notion that he is an excellent second tier striker, but simply not good enough for the top tier.

And with Newcastle likely seeking to improve again next term and thus eye additions to take them to the next level, Gayle could end up being a surplus to requirements over the summer, with Stoke already preparing for life in the second tier by reportedly registering their interest in the striker.

And Leeds simply must seek to do the same, and indeed go on and beat the Potters to the 28-year-old’s signature.

Goals haven’t been too great a problem for the Yorkshire giants this season, having netted 59 in their 46 league games, but when one looks at the attacking ranks at Elland Road, it’s clear that they need bolstering.

Pierre-Michel Lasogga has produced the goods with ten goals on loan from Bundesliga outfit Hamburg this term, but a permanent deal does appear unlikely this summer, while summer signing Roofe is the only other attacker to reach double figures with 14.

In fact, the trio of Jay-Roy Grot, Pawel Cibicki, and Caleb Ekuban have mustered a paltry three goals between them for Heckingbottom’s side this season, which underlines the fact that the Whites simply need a more prolific and proven goal-scorer to challenge for promotion next term – Gayle could be that man.

With a wonderful recent record in the Championship, Stoke are already seemingly ready to pounce on any possible uncertainty over the summer, yet Leeds simply must seek to rival the Potters and indeed beat them to the 28-year-old’s signature if they harbour promotion ambitions next term.

Leeds fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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