Leeds United have been dealt a blow in their bid to bring Che Adams to Elland Road this summer.
That’s according to a report by The Athletic, who claim that, despite Victor Orta having been heavily linked with a move for the Southampton centre-forward this summer, it is Everton who now appear to be leading the race for the 26-year-old hitman – with Frank Lampard’s side in talks over a loan-to-buy deal for the Scotland international.
With time very much running out for Orta to add a new centre-forward to Jesse Marsch’s first-team squad prior to September’s transfer deadline, the news that yet another of the club’s reported targets now looks as if he could be off the market is sure to have come as a gutting blow to the 48-year-old American.
Indeed, Adams would have appeared to make a fine addition to the likes of Patrick Bamford and Joe Gelhardt in the Leeds United attack, as the £16.2m-rated forward more than proved last season that he is a capable goalscorer as well as an efficient creator of opportunities in the top flight of English football.
Over his 30 Premier League fixtures last time out, the £52k-per-week talent scored seven goals, registered three assists and created six big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 1.6 shots, making 0.9 key passes and completing 0.7 dribbles per game.
These returns would have seen the 26-year-old rank as Leeds’ third-highest goalscorer and second-highest big chance creator last season, while his average SofaScore match rating of 6.85 would have ranked him as the Whites’ joint seventh-best performer in the league overall in 2021/22.
As such, while the player who Ross McCafferty dubbed “unreal” may not be the most glamorous name that has been linked with Leeds this summer, it is clear to see that Adams could have been an extremely astute signing for Orta to get over the line prior to the closure of the current market – especially for a figure in the region of just £10m.