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Leeds United linked with Leyton Orient striker who is tearing up the National League? Really?

Macauley Bonne has been linked with a move to the Championship

Northampton Town v Colchester United - Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Leeds United are reportedly interested in signing a striker who is tearing up the league.

The National League, that is.

Macauley Bonne has been on a tear in the National League after joining Leyton Orient after they were relegated out of the Football League after the 2016-17 season. The 23 year-old Bonne scored 22 goals last season and has already scored 15 goals this season for Orient, as they are looking to bounce back into the Football League.

Leyton Orient are in fine form, leading the National League with 46 points from 21 matches, three points ahead of second-placed Salford City and a full six points of ahead of Leeds neighbours Harrogate Town, who are currently in fourth place. Orient has only lost one game this season, and Bonne is part of the reason why they’ve been so good this year.

Bonne came to Orient from League Two Colchester United, where he scored one goal in 18 appearances in the 2016-17 season. He also scored a goal while on loan at National League side Lincoln City that season. Additionally, Bonne appeared in 33 matches for Colchester United’s doomed 2015-16 League One season, where he scored three goals as Colchester were relegated. However, he did score four goals in two FA Cup matches that season.

Some players are late bloomers, such as Jermaine Beckford, who famously came from non-League side Wealdstone to Elland Road, and Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, who came from Fleetwood Town, but it’s unusual to find star strikers at the non-League level who can regularly score goals at the Championship level. And while he was a younger player then, Bonne is still barely removed from a season where he only managed to score a single goal in League Two.

Leeds are mentioned in the transfer rumour, along with Nottingham Forest, Derby County, and Norwich City, all teams that are gunning for promotion and could be looking for a diamond in the rough. However, there is very little reason to expect Leeds to be interested in Bonne, with the club already having Kemar Roofe, Patrick Bamford, and Tyler Roberts in the squad.

Take this rumour with a huge grain of salt, as while it could be true that Leeds are interested in a player from Orient, as they signed teenager Sam Dalby from Orient in the last January transfer window, it doesn’t fit very well with the transfer policy this season, which has seen Leeds get more established players either on permanent deals, such as Barry Douglas from Wolverhampton, or go for loan deals from the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea. This rumour smacks of an agent trying to get his client a new deal from a club that is gunning to get back into the Football League.