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Leeds could sign Marsch’s next Haaland in Botheim

Leeds have already signed three players this summer but they are arguably still missing Jesse Marsch’s most important piece of the jigsaw for next season; a striker.

Patrick Bamford is still the club’s leading number 9 but he spent a considerable period of time out injured last term and despite the issues elsewhere, his lack of goals was a big reason behind being embroiled in a relegation battle.

The former Middlesbrough man only played 11 times and scored twice due to a succession of injuries which ruined his campaign.

Ankle, hamstring and foot problems ruled him out for three lengthy spells and there is no guarantee that he’ll be able to hit the ground running quickly next season.

If he does, Leeds should have no problems offensively but they cannot risk things.

They were thought to be interested in a move for Eddie Nketiah before he pledged his long-term future to Arsenal but they do have other aces up their sleeve.

Reports last week suggested that Leeds are one of a number of clubs interested in Erik Botheim. The Norwegian was playing for Krasnodar in Russia last term but was able to leave the club on a free transfer following the invasion of Ukraine.

Available now via the Bosman ruling, a move for Marsch and co feels like a no-brainer. He knows how to find the back of the net and boasts a set of incredibly exciting traits.

He scored 22 times for Bodo/Glimt before a move to Russia, strikes that came in just 46 outings which demonstrate that he is a prolific force.

Dubbed a “complete” player by football scout Jacek Kulig, he has all the raw tools to be a success at Elland Road.

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In fact, he could even become Marsch’s brand new Erling Haaland. Botheim has played with the new Manchester City star at international level and they are even thought to be best friends too.

The Leeds boss has already managed Haaland as the superstar scored a seriously impressive 28 times in 22 games under Marsch’s tutelage at RB Salzburg.

It’s unlikely Botheim will ever be able to replicate similar numbers but he has personally admitted that he has elements of Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski to his game.

That means that he also has elements of Haaland to him with Lewandowski being the second most comparable player judging by FB Ref’s ‘similar players’ model to Haaland.

Of course, Botheim will have to go some distance to live up to that sort of hype but there’s every chance that he becomes Marsch’s new leading light if he ends up at Leeds.

This is certainly a saga to watch this summer.

AND in other news, Phil Hay: Leeds eye swoop for “aggressive” £1.8m-rated gem, he’s their next Phillips…