This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Leeds United have been linked with a £7.5m move for Matej Vydra (The Mirror, 22/11, page 74).
The Whites have struggled in front of goal this season, as their xG tally shows, so signing a former Championship golden boot winner ought to ease a number of those problems.
However, signing the Czech may add another problem to the squad that Marcelo Bielsa would have to deal with.
As the above infographic shows, Vydra’s last season in the Championship was exceptional as not only did he score more goals than anyone else, but he also made the most of his chances as he only had 75 shots throughout the campaign.
However, Vydra’s best position is quite clearly not as a lone forward as he started the majority of his games at Derby as a second striker just behind whoever was playing centre-forward. In fact, he’s scored 21 times in 42 games from that very position, per Transfermarkt.
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The problem is that Leeds’ current system doesn’t allow for a player like that. United usually play a 4-1-4-1 or a 3-3-1-3 depending on how their opposition lineup, and neither of those tactics incorporate a second striker.
The closest thing Leeds currently have to that is Tyler Roberts, but his game isn’t heavily based around scoring goals as he’s netted just four in his last two seasons.
The fact of the matter is that Vydra is much more effective in his second striker role as his goal contribution ratio is 0.63 while playing there whereas when he plays as a more traditional number nine that drops to 0.36.
Bielsa’s frontline would undoubtedly be bolstered by the arrival of the 27-year-old, but figuring out how to best utilise him would be another added problem for the Argentine.