Written by Thomas B.
Luciano Becchio has fuelled uncertainty about his future by handing in a transfer request at Leeds United. An official statement confirmed the news that all Leeds fans dreaded.
Two rejected bids from unnamed foreign clubs seem to be the cause of Luciano’s transfer request. The club’s top goal scorer now leaves a gap up front that Leeds United boss Neil Warnock will have to fill within the next week.
With the January transfer window reaching its climax, the race is on to bolster a side that lack in quality and ambition. A whole list of strikers ‘could do a job’ for the team and here are five of the top strikers that are worthy of Becchio’s place in the team.
1. Ross McCormack – Ross is one of the most clinical strikers in the division and best of all he is currently a Leeds United player. Being utilised as a wide man when he’s had his limited chances, Ross’ 19 goals last season have been in vein under Neil Warnock.
The former Cardiff striker’s best position is as an out and out striker, but he needs the ball at his feet. His quick feet and his eye for goal make him the most sensible replacement for Luciano Becchio. Already at our disposal, the club does not need to spend big to find a striker that is capable and clinical.
Ross, this is your time to shine.
2. Charlie Austin – Probably the best striker outside of the Premier League. The former brick layer scores goals for fun at this level and his current club Burnley could struggle to hold on to him over the next week.
Questions will always remain about what state Leeds United as a business is in. With lack of transparency and a fan base tired of star players leaving, it may be inconceivable to many that Charlie Austin is a possible target.
Clinging on by one finger, the money from the sale of Becchio should be used by GFH, who no doubt want to impress the fans. Go out and get Austin and this club can begin to mend the broken trust at the club.
3. Jermaine Beckford – Currently on loan at Huddersfield Town, the former Leeds United fans favourite could be a reunion unlike most. Reunions are often overrated and downright deflating – but Jermaine still has unfinished business at Leeds United and given the recent news of Simon Grayson’s sacking from Huddersfield Town, the ex-Everton man could well be up for sale again.
It is most certainly another chance for GFH to stamp their authority on getting the club back to where it belongs.
4. Rickie Lambert – An ambitious signing to the say the least. Lambert has looked solid in the Premiership but it remains to be seen whether he features in the plans of new Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino. If not, even a loan deal should be considered for a striker who played a big part in Southampton’s back-to-back promotions.
The ex-Bristol Rovers star would fit in well with Warnock’s ‘direct’ approach and would show ambition for a club lacking in adventure.
5. Craig Mackail-Smith – The Brighton striker is of a similar mold to Luciano Becchio. Great at holding the ball up and bringing others into the game, Mackail-Smith is the type of player Warnock loves – although not the most gifted footballer. The Scottish international will run all day which would sit well with the fans at Elland Road.
Again, the stumbling block is the transfer fee. The club has suffered in recent years with not spending and the striker could well command a fee of around £2.5 million.
Reiterating the need of the new owners to prove their guile and ambition could well be shown in the purchase of the energetic Mackail-Smith.