Leeds United have suffered a terrible last few months of the season this year, after a brilliant start. One of the most disappointing things about the season was the lack of a replacement for Chris Wood, as the striker scored 30 goals for Leeds during the 2016-17 season. Wood was sold to Burnley back in August, and the replacements for him did not live up to the hype or fill his shooting boots.
Tyler Roberts, a well-regarded young player from West Bromwich Albion, was brought to the club in the January transfer window, but he’s been out with an injury since he arrived. However, Leeds were linked with more than one striker during the last transfer window. A deal that was close to being completed, but did not occur in January, was a transfer for Carpi striker Jerry Mbakogu.
deal was set up in January and is there to be done. Likely to happen (or was last time I asked).— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) April 11, 2018
Yorkshire Evening Post football writer Phil Hay is the most “in the know” person in the press when it comes to deals involving Leeds United, so when he states on Twitter that a deal is “there to be done” for Mbakogu, it’s almost certain to be true.
Mbakogu has scored eight goals in 23 games in all competitions for Carpi in Serie B this season. It was reported at the time that Carpi didn’t want to let Mbakogu go in January because they were looking to get into the promotion playoffs and a chance to get into Serie A. Carpi are still in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs, as they are in 9th place in the table, two points out of 8th place and the playoffs. Mbakogu scored fifteen goals to help Carpi gain promotion to Serie A in the 2014-15 season, but Carpi came back down after only one season in Italy’s top flight.
While a journeyman Serie B striker won’t excite the fans at Leeds, who are dreaming of an established Championship striker to come into Elland Road, as long as the price is right, this could be a good deal. Mbakogu is only 25 years-old and while Serie B isn’t as competitive as the Championship, landing a striker with Serie A experience isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Hopefully Mbakogu will have a better time scoring goals than former Chievo Verona forward Caleb Ekuban.