The search for a new striker has taken Leeds United scouts all the way to Italy today, as it is reported that scouts from Leeds watched Jerry Mbakogu of Serie B’s Carpi today. The Express cites a report from TuttoMercatoWeb which claims that Leeds United scouts watched Mbakogu open the scoring for Carpi in their 2-1 victory against Spezia.
Mbakogu is a 25 year-old striker who has scored seven goals in 19 appearances in all competitions for the Serie B club this season. It looks like he started out at Palermo, before bouncing around Serie B clubs for awhile.
He joined FC Carpi before the 2013-14 season, and helped the Serie B club to promotion in the 2014-15 season, scoring 15 goals in 30 league appearances, along with seven assists. However, Carpi lasted only one season in Serie A, and Mbakogu only managed to score 2 goals in 24 Serie A appearances in 2015-16.
Leeds have been seeking a replacement for Chris Wood this season after he left the club for Burnley back in August. The club currently has Pierre-Michel Lasogga on loan from Bundesliga team Hambuger SV, but he’s been inconsistent and the club would not be willing to make a deal for him permanent due to the excessive wages, reportedly as much as €70,000 a week.
Leeds also brought in Caleb Ekuban from Chievo Verona during the summer transfer window, but he’s out injured after breaking his foot for the second time this season. Kemar Roofe has filled in at striker at times this season as well. Roofe has chipped in a number of goals this season, 11 in 28 appearances in all competitions. However, much like Lasogg, he’s been inconsistent, as six of his 11 goals have come in two matches, the Championship match at Queens Park Rangers and the League Cup victory over Newport Town back in August.
Will this transfer happen? Who knows. Leeds are in search of a striker, and I’m sure that the increased scouting budget at Leeds means that scouts are looking all over for players that aren’t necessarily household names, but would be able to come in and do job for Leeds. And has dodgy as most of the “links” in the press are, reports from overseas, oddly enough, tend to be more credible than the ones from local tabloids. So give this one a 40% chance of being correct.