Last year Leeds United fans enjoyed a brilliant season from Chris Wood, as he lead the Championship with 27 goals. However, one of the areas that was identified as a weakness last year was the lack of depth at the striker position for Leeds. And after Ashley Fletcher, who had been linked with Leeds before, was sold to Middlesbrough from West Ham United last week, it appears that Leeds is still searching for depth at the striker position.
I can confirm that striker Ashley Fletcher has completed a move to Championship side Middlesbrough for a fee of £6.5m. Good luck Ashley. dg pic.twitter.com/rzpSPGAcwM— David Gold (@davidgold) July 28, 2017
Leeds under Christiansen look committed to using a lone striker up top in a 4-2-3-1 formation that was carried over from last season under Garry Monk. Which is fine, it is one of the more popular formations that are used in Europe and in the UK, but it puts a lot of pressure on the lone striker up front. It also can easily adjust to a 4-4-2 if the #10 attacking midfielder is swapped out for a second striker. Last year, under Monk, there didn’t seem to be much use of a second striker, and whether that was because Marcus Antonsson wasn’t good enough or Monk didn’t like having two strikers in the game is up for debate, but it appears that the team would be interested in bringing in at least one other option at the striker position besides Caleb Ekuban from Chievo Verona.
Leeds still in the market for another striker. Wanted Ashley Fletcher but Boro got him last week. Negredo too expensive. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) July 31, 2017
With the crazy prices that English players are currently commanding, Leeds would likely be interested in bringing in a domestic player on loan if they can’t find a suitable player that would be affordable, likely from overseas. The team has signed a number of players from Spain, and so there might be players looking for new opportunities that could be affordable. Alvaro Negredo is NOT an affordable option, by the way, no matter what you see on Twitter.
An interesting possibility would be another player from West Ham United. Toni Martinez is another young striker who has been banging home goals for the U23s in East London, scoring 10 goals in 11 games, and he comes from the Valencia youth system in Spain, so he checks those boxes as well. While the 20 year-old is highly regarded by West Ham fans, he hasn’t always made the most of his opportunities while on loan, scoring only one league goal while on loan at Oxford United last season in League One. He did, however, score two goals in two FA Cup matches for the U’s, one against Boro and the other against Newcastle United. He needs to go on loan, as there is no way he sees the pitch after West Ham spent good money on Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.
Leeds will probably be looking for another first team striker this season, which might mean the end of Marcus Antonsson’s Leeds career. If there is a new signing, however, don’t expect Leeds to break the bank or go after an aging player looking for one last payday. Basically don’t expect Negredo or anyone like him.