That’s according to Dean Jones, with the transfer insider revealing in his recent column for GIVEMESPORT that the Whites, as well as the likes of West Ham United and Everton, will be closely monitoring the Senegal centre-forward in Qatar ahead of potentially launching a move for the 26-year-old this winter.
In his article, the journalist said: “There is nothing more exciting than a new goalscorer bursting onto the scene and in Boulaye Dia we might be about to witness a breakout. The loss of Sadio Mane to injury, for now, is a big loss to this team – but they have a man ready to step into his boots.
“Dia, 26, is a striker ready to make the most of his chance. Defenders are going to find him a handful and there’s potential here for him to become one of the star names to earn a transfer if things go well. He’s having a solid season on loan at Salernitana from Villarreal and his ability to play off the shoulder and finish one-on-ones means he has real goal potential.
“He’s got great goal awareness and will really see this as an opportunity to shine. Senegal take on the Netherlands on Monday and if Dia does well we can expect links with the likes of West Ham, Leeds and Everton to emerge.”
While it is true that Dia endured a frustrating time of it in Senegal’s 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands earlier today – enjoying just 18 touches of the ball, completing a mere 10 passes and only managing to hit the target with one shot – considering the “great form” the forward has been in Italy this season, it is easy to see why Orta would be keen on the striker.
Indeed, over his 14 Serie A appearances – only 10 of which have come as starts – for Salernitana, the £17.5m-rated talent has been deadly in the final third, hitting the back of the net six times, registering two assists and creating one big chance, as well as taking an average of 1.1 shots, making 0.9 key passes and completing 0.8 dribbles per game.
These returns have seen the £30k-per-week forward average an impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.88, ranking him as Davide Nicola’s joint fourth-best performer in the top flight of Italian football.
The 26-year-old also impressed over his 25 LaLiga fixtures – only 13 of which came as starts – for Villarreal last season, bagging five goals, providing five assists and creating three big chances, in addition to taking an average of 1.5 shots, making 0.7 key passes and completing 0.4 dribbles per game.
These metrics saw the 19-cap international average an eye-catching SofaScore match rating of 6.89, ranking him as El Submarino Amarillo’s joint 12th-best performer in the top flight of Spanish football last time out.
As such, with the player who Marlon Harwood dubbed “absolutely fantastic” having more than demonstrated that he is capable of finding the back of the net in whichever league he plays, should the Senegal sensation go on to star against Qatar and Ecuador in his country’s remaining Group A fixtures, it would appear extremely wise for Orta to launch a move for the striker in January.
Indeed, with Patrick Bamford struggling to get over injuries that have plagued the Englishman over the last year, Jesse Marsch could very much do with some added firepower in his attacking arsenal at Elland Road, with the €17m (£15m) valued forward appearing to possess the goalscoring nous that would make him a dream replacement the 29-year-old in LS11.