The silly season is in full swing with about 10 days left in the summer transfer window, and just as Leeds United fans could be fairly confident that most of the club’s business had already been done, Chris Wood’s impending move to Burnley has thrown the best laid plans into chaos.
Rumours have already started as to who Leeds United will find to replace Chris Wood in the lineup, and one of the first names on the lips of the national press seems to be Jordan Rhodes. The Daily Mail is reporting that Leeds are looking to beat Wolverhampton to the signature of Rhodes, who Sheffield Wednesday have apparently wish to sell.
There is a reason that Wednesday are reportedly looking to sell Rhodes after making his £10 million move from Middlesbrough permanent this past July. The 27 year old Scotland striker refused to take a penalty during Wednesday’s penalty shoot-out loss to Huddersfield Town in the Premier League playoffs last season as Wednesday crashed out for the second season running. And while he’s appeared for the team so far this season, Wednesday have former Celtic FC and Norwich City striker Gary Hooper and also former Watford striker Fernando Forestieri that both seem to be preferred over Rhodes. All jokes about not being good enough for Wednesday and therefore not good enough for Leeds aside, it’s a little concerning that Leeds would look to spend upwards of £10 million on a player that isn’t an automatic first choice for a Championship club.
Can't take Jordan Rhodes' goal scoring record away from him. Sheff Wednesday just paid £10m for a player who's scored 6 goals in 1 year!!— Cookie (@7_Cookie) January 31, 2017
While Rhodes has an impressive goal-scoring record with Blackburn Rovers, since leaving the Lancashire club his fortunes have not been as good. And here is where the “link” to Leeds breaks down. Rhodes was purchased in a £9 million deal for Middlesbrough by current Leeds Director of Football Victor Orta on the final day of the January transfer window in the 2015-16 season when Middlesbrough gained automatic promotion to the Premier League. He scored six of his 16 goals that season for Boro after scoring 21 goals for Blackburn the season before.
As for his time in the Premier League with Middlesbrough, he failed to score in any of the six appearances he had with the Teeside club in the top flight, and after moving back to the Championship with Wednesday, he only scored three goals in 18 appearances last season.
And while Victor Orta purchased Rhodes from Blackburn, he also looked to get rid of Rhodes after less than a full season at Boro. It is highly unlikely that Orta would suddenly change his mind about the abilities of Rhodes and bring him into Leeds rather than look towards his extensive scouting networks that have produced most of the transfers to Leeds this summer. So while it might make sense to link Orta to a player he’s bought before, Rhodes probably won’t be the guy.