Leeds United have been exceptionally busy this summer, welcoming a new manager in David Hockaday and a string of new signings, including Stuart Taylor, Marco Silvestri and all-but-officially confirmed Jonathan Rossini, not to mention the record-breaking £11million sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham.
But bearing in mind the ultimate aim of returning to the Premier League, there’s still a lot of work to be done at Elland Road. Last season proved the Whites’ squad wasn’t up to scratch, and a number of notable gaps in the roster need to be address this summer.
Therefore, we at Football FanCast have conjured up a list of the FIVE signings that would ‘complete’ Hockaday’s Leeds squad, allowing the Yorkshire outfit to effectively compete for promotion.
With Ross McCormack making a record-breaking £11million move to Fulham, Leeds are in desperate need of a talismanic goalscorer. The Yorkshire club have already been linked to Catania striker Souleymane Doukara…
— Official Whites (@OfficialLUFC) July 10, 2014
But in my opinion, a better and potentially more fruitful option would be a sizeable bid for lower league sensation Britt Assombalonga.
The former Watford youngster netted 15 times on loan to Southend in League Two in the 2012/13 campaign, and last term, following a club-record move to Peterborough, bagged 23 goals in 43 League One outings, also firing the Posh to Football League Trophy glory.
Here’s a short clip of the Zaire-born assassin in action:
As you can see, he offers power, pace and goal threat in abundance, and at just 21 years of age, the potential for further improvement is enormous.
Some Leeds fans have already recommended him to new owner Massimo Cellino:
I’d like to see #lufc take a chance on a young striker from the lower leagues, like Assombalonga, Agard, Baldock, Winnall or Hogan.
— Lee Hayes (@TheLazyhazy) July 8, 2014
If I were Cellino then I would seriously consider making an offer for Britt Assombalonga. Definitely worth a try. #LUFC
— Ben Slater (@_Ben_Slater_) July 10, 2014
Like to see Leeds replace McCormack with a player from the England, either Baldock or Assombalonga would be my call. #lufc
— Tom (@thomas_wilson04) July 9, 2014
But allegedly a prime target for several top flight sides, any interest from Elland Road could soon be eclipsed by the Premier League.
Peterborough Director of Football Barry Fry claims his club wont sell Assombalonga this summer, even for £5million!
Barry Fry has told local paper £5M wouldn’t be enough to buy Assombalonga & only ‘ridiculous’ bid would persuade Peterborough to sell #nffc
— Sean Taylor (@seantaylorpress) May 20, 2014
Another lower-tiers striking option for the Whites to consider is a move for Rotherham United’s Kieran Agard, who has triggered a wealth of Championship interest in his services after rejecting a contract extension at the New York Stadium.
Agard shuns contract offer: Rotherham United star Kieran Agard has turned down the offer of a contract extension. http://t.co/1vWJXBkA1g
— Football-News (@Bot_Football) July 9, 2014
The 24 year-old winger-forward unleashed havoc on League One last year as the Millers secured play-off promotion, netting 26 times in 54 appearances throughout the campaign. Here’s all his goals from last season in a four-minute vid:
And after being scouted personally by Leeds owner Massimo Cellino last season, the Yorkshire side have emerged as Agard’s likeliest suitors:
Forward Kieran Agard has invited Leeds United to bid for his signature by turning down the offer of a long-term… http://t.co/twkHOCr0F6
— Rob Atkinson (@RobofLeeds) July 10, 2014
Whites wingers Jimmy Kebe, Cameron Stewart, Luke Varney and El Hadji Diouf all failed spectacularly last year and the Yorkshire outfit need some quality out wide.
Although the 32 year-old may be no spring chicken, he's certainly got pedigree. The former Tottenham, West Ham and Stoke City midfielder boasts a healthy return of 21 goals and 37 assists in 288 Premier League appearances.
With few suitors on the horizon, Etherington could prove to be a real coup for Leeds. Although he does look quite a lot like a sloth...
Matthew Etherington looks like a sloth lol pic.twitter.com/r5H7ifCG
— harry pilsworth (@Harry_THFC) January 26, 2013
Leeds' midfield lacked craft last season - it eventually became a campaign of hit-n-hope long balls to towering striker Matt Smith. One loan acquisition who could remedy that however is Tottenham hotshot Alex Pritchard.
The 21 year-old, who was on loan to Swindon last season, is a tidy footballer and an astute technician with a clinical eye for goal, as demonstrated in the below video...
He's lethal from dead ball situations too...
After thoroughly excelling at League One level last season, netting six times in 35 league outings and earning nominations for the division's Player of the Year award and the Football League's Young Player of the Year award, the attacking midfielder will be keen to challenge himself at a higher level.
But recent speculation suggests Leeds will have to fight off interest from Wigan for Pritchard's temporary services:
Spurs starlet Alex Pritchard eyed by Wigan boss Uwe Rosler for loan move: The attacking midfielder is set for a... http://t.co/PQQ2qHjP3m
— Football-News (@Bot_Football) May 25, 2014