Leeds United are on the hunt for a new striker this summer and their search could take them to manager Jesse Marsch’s home country…
According to Manchester Evening News journalist Conor McGilligan, the Yorkshire outfit are keen on signing New York City FC frontman Valentin Castellanos, and have been looking at him for a while now.
“Leeds are apparently going head over heels for a striker at the minute. He sort of fits the mould, he’s the best striker in the MLS at the minute, looks very complete, Argentinian,” he told the ‘One Leeds Fan Channel’ this week.
“A few links there, apparently, Leeds have been looking at him for a while as well. So yeah, Valentin Castellanos.
“Keep an eye on that name.”
It’s thought that the MLS champions have set an asking price of around £12.8m, as per The Mirror.
The Whites suffered from multiple problems during their near-fateful 2021/22 campaign, ranging from persistent injury issues to the second-leakiest backline in the top-flight.
Marcelo Bielsa and then Marsch were also pegged back by their troubles in the final third. Patrick Bamford, fresh off a 17-goal season, was absent for the majority of 2021/22 with an array of injuries. He only managed nine games in total, leaving Raphinha and co to take the mantle.
A lack of an alternative almost cost the Yorkshiremen their place in the big time, something they waited nearly two decades for prior to their promotion in 2020.
It’s no wonder Leeds appear to be desperate for another option up top and Castellanos is a very interesting candidate indeed.
He has since continued that form this year, delivering 11 goals and five assists across 17 appearances in the MLS and CONCACAF Champions League, taking his total for the American giants to 53 goals and 23 assists, as per Transfermarkt.
Castellanos has been likened to former Chelsea talisman Didier Drogba by MLS UK Show podcaster Henry Hewitt to Manchester Evening News in the past, where he also claimed: “He doesn’t just score one type of goal. He’s strong, quick, good with his head and isn’t afraid to bring his teammates into play.”
The 23-year-old also outranks Bamford for non-penalty expected goals and shots on target per 90, via FBRef, too.
On the above evidence, it could well be worth the risk to dip into the MLS market to solve Marsch’s problems at Elland Road. After the arrival of Brendan Aaronson and soon, Rasmus Kristensen, a new forward must be the priority.
Castellanos can be the man to end Leeds’ desperation.