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Football News: Leeds United Centre Forward Shortlist

Leeds United Centre Forward Shortlist

Talks of a new centre forward (CF) have been quite abundant on the Leeds United Rumours forum recently, so I've scouted a shortlist of CFs who I feel have the quality, upside potential and are affordable.

As with any transfer, there is always some risk attached. I feel like these choices are somewhat less risk averse than other options.

In no particular order:

ALEXANDER LIND - 21 - Silkeborg - £1.7m (transfermarkt).

Lind has been a integral for Silkeborg this season, playing in the surprisingly competitive Danish Superliga. With 10 goals and 2 assists, the young Dane has been in fine form, managing a goal involvement every 78 mins, which is nothing to sniff at in ANY of Europe's leagues.

Lind is a joy to watch. Composed and clinical are operative words when it comes to Lind. Whether it's a one on one, finding space at the back post or running into space from deep, the kid can finish from anywhere and everywhere. He's press resistant and a very good interlinker of play with his back to goal, but he'll also put the graft in to get back involved with play in the box, often attacking crosses with smart anticipation and determination. One scout has likened Lind to Klaas Jan Huntelaar, which seems very apt. A top talent, more than ready for the EFL.


SYDNEY VAN HOOIJDONK - 23 - Bologna - £4.3m (transfermarkt) looks increasingly likely Bologna will loan him out with an option to buy.

The van Hooijdonk name precedes itself in the football world. The young CF comes from good stock and he knows where the net is when he's getting regular minutes. Playing only a bit-part role at high-flying Bologna this season (304 mins) , the club are willing to let SvH leave the club this window. Prior to returning to the Italian side, van Hooijdonk scored 26 goals and had 2 assists in 54 games while out on loan at Heereveen.

I scouted SvH back in the summer, as I thought he was a player who had some similar profile traits to Viktor Gyokeres (who was my #1 transfer target) . I still stand by that, although Gyok has elevated even more this season. My report from the summer (was on twitter): "van Hoiijdonk is a bully. Strong on the ball and in the air, not afraid to run at defenders, a proficient interlinker of play who possesses instinctual positional and finishing ability. A set piece maestro, much like his father. I'd be excited to see what he can do in the EFL and higher".

I think SvH would be a very good fit for our style of play, but *may* take a little time to get up to speed given a current lack of first team minutes.


KEVIN DENKEY - 23 - Cercle Brugge - £6.9m (transfermarkt)

Denkey hit the ground running this season after a solid 22/ 23. The Cercle Brugge CF has fired in 16 goals in 20 games this season, including a hat-trick back in October. The commanding CF won't be at the AFCON either, given his home nation, Togo, failed to qualify for the tournament. Meaning he would be available to play throughout Jan.

The more I watch Denkey, the more I see similarities in his play to that of Callum Wilson (without the injury woes). He's a powerful runner who busts a gut to get into goal scoring positions, as well as being dogged for his team. He likes to get involved in many facets of the game, but he's an absolute demon once he's in the box, managing to roll and bully defenders to create a shot opportunity. The lad is in such a rich vein of form right now, too, and he certainly has the ability to carry that over to the Championship. If we don't make a move, I'm sure someone will come in for him this window.


RYAN HARDIE - 26 - Plymouth Argyle - £1m (transfermarkt) although I think £5m would seal a move.

Hardie helped fire Plymouth into the Championship last season and the 6'2" striker has continued to impress this season, with 8 goals and 3 assists in the league for a struggling team. After returning from a concussion, the Scottish forward has found form again, scoring against Saints and Watford over the Xmas period.

Many of you will know Hardie's exploits in League One and the Championship this season. Hardie excels with his anticipatory runs and movement. He loves to play off the shoulder, and he's very adept at finding space (his movement looks effortless sometimes). A composed finisher with technique and a solid presser of the ball. Hardie also possesses a decent turn of pace. A step up is well within his skill set and I'd be happy to see him at Leeds.

Written by Dillinger January 05 2024 18:49:01


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