The Leeds United fans in the Transfer Tavern are feeling excited by the new era under Marcelo Bielsa which promises to be characterised by eccentricity and exuberance, but a recent report from Italy should give them genuine cause for concern about their club’s strategy in the transfer market.
According to the highly-respected Sky Sports journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Leeds are locked in negotiations with Carpi over a €1.8 million deal for the Nigerian striker Jerry Mbakogu. The Whites have been consistently linked with Mbakogu since the turn of the year, but history suggests that their 25-year-old target is not the man to solve their problems.
Carpi finished the previous Serie B season slap bang in the middle of the table in 11th place with a goal difference of -14 – a fact which illuminates their lack of potency in-front of goal.
Mbakogu was a key part of the Italian side’s struggle to find the back of the net as he notched just 6 goals from 26 appearances, losing his place in the starting eleven towards the end of the season as a consequence of his modest record.
With these statistics in mind, it’s no wonder that Carpi are willing to allow Mbakogu to depart the club for such a measly fee this summer, and their apparent willingness to sell should ring a few alarm bells at Elland Road.
Despite the natural appeal of a cut-price transfer fee, Andrea Radrizzani and Bielsa need to rethink their approach to the hunt for a new striker and hone in on what’s really important: a player with a proven track-record to consistently find the back of the net.
Considering both the quality and competitiveness of Serie B is a level below that of the Championship, signing Mbakogu represents a sideways move at best, and there’s no doubt he would struggle to adapt to the intensity of English football.
Bielsa’s activity in the transfer market this summer will play a pivotal role in determining his success in masterminding a revolution at a club which is crying out for a long-awaited return to the top-flight, so he must be shrewder with his choices and abandon the proposed move to sign Mbakogu before he makes his first major mistake at Leeds.
Leeds fans – thoughts? Let us know below!