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Leeds could secure Bamford replacement in Boulaye Dia

One issue that has plagued Leeds United over the past year or so has been the inability to deploy an out-and-out centre forward, with the Elland Road outfit having suffered as a result of the persistent injury woes of striker, Patrick Bamford.

The Englishman – who was signed from Middlesbrough on a £10m deal back in 2018 – had been an integral asset in helping the Yorkshire earn a return to the Premier League under Marcelo Bielsa, scoring 16 league goals during the 2019/20 campaign to end the club’s lengthy stint out of the top-flight.

That sparkling form continued despite the step up to the top tier as the former Chelsea marksman netted 17 league goals in that impressive 2020/21 season, with such form having even led to involvement in the England set-up under Gareth Southgate.

Since then, however, the £35k-per-week man has been something of a bystander to proceedings due to injury, with the 6 foot 1 ace having featured just 19 times since the start of last season, scoring only two goals in that time.

The one-time Nottingham Forest forward has failed to score in ten league outings so far this term – only four of which came from the start – with manager Jesse Marsch having typically deployed Rodrigo or Crysencio Summerville in the striking berth.

While that latter duo have been in prolific form of late – scoring 13 goals between them this season – neither man is a true option as a number nine, with a new addition potentially needed amid Bamford’s continued woes.

The recent suggestion is that one man who could well replace the 29-year-old is Senegal striker, Boulaye Dia, with sporting director Victor Orta believed to be “keeping tabs” on the in-form ace, alongside the likes of Everton, West Ham United and Leicester City.

The Salernitana menace is currently on loan in Italy from Villarreal, with the Serie A side said to have the to option-to-buy the 26-year-old for a fee of around £10m, although CIES Football Observatory values him at closer to £17m.

The France-born machine has been in fine form so far this term with six goals in just 14 league appearances, having previously netted seven times across all competitions at his parent club last term after moving to Spain in the summer of 2021.

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The former Reims ace – who previously scored 28 goals in 88 games during his time in France – has carried that sparkling form onto the World Cup stage, having notably netted for his country during the win over hosts Qatar earlier this week.

That strike is now the marksman’s third goal in 21 outings for his national side to date, with the 5 foot 11 star potentially able to go on to add to that tally in his side’s third group game against Ecuador on Tuesday evening.

With the addition of a centre-forward potentially set to be vital for Marsch’s men moving forward, Orta must seemingly do all he can to win the race for Dia’s signature.