Championship

Marcelo Bielsa could be on the verge of making his first major blunder as Leeds manager

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.

The Breakdown

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!

To Top