Why Matej Vydra would be a real coup for Leeds United in January
Having lost out to Burnley in the race to sign the 27-year-old playmaking forward last summer, Leeds are now set to go back in the market for his services, with the report suggesting that the Whites are considering a £7.5m bid to offer the Czech Republic international an escape route from his ill-fated spell at Turf Moor.
Vydra, who joined Burnley from Derby County for a fee of £11m last summer, has found it difficult to break into Sean Dyche’s first-team plans, having started only three Premier League games for the Clarets so far.
The 27-year-old’s only start for the Clarets in the ongoing campaign so far came in an EFL Cup defeat to Sunderland back in August while Vydra has once again found himself playing a bit-part role in the Premier League.
The former Derby County star has been restricted to just 4 substitute appearances in the league. With Dyche relying on the likes of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes up top, Vydra could have his work cut out in dislodging the club’s existing first-choice strike pairing.
The 26-cap Czech Republic international made his name in English football as a loanee at Watford from Italian outfit Udinese during the 2012-13 campaign.
A loan stint at West Brom in the Premier League was sandwiched between two loan spells at Watford that yielded 16 and 20 goals respectively in the Championship.
A second successful loan spell at Vicarage Road paved the way for a permanent switch to Watford in 2015 but he found himself loaned out to Reading, following the Hornets’ promotion to the Premier League before Vydra eventually joined Derby County.
A career-best tally of 21 goals in the Championship in the 2017-18 campaign earned him a move back to the top-flight with Burnley.
Notwithstanding the fact that Vydra has struggled to cut the mustard in the Premier League on a number of occasions, the 27-year-old continues to be a striker with an excellent track record in the second-tier.
The winner of the EFL Championship Player of the Year award in 2013 and the division’s Golden Boot winner in the 2017-18 season, Matej Vydra boasts of an overall tally of 65 goals and 22 assists in 187 appearances in the Championship for Reading, Watford and Derby County.
To put things into perspective, the lack of a prolific striker at Elland Road has been well-documented and the acquisition of Vydra could possibly go a long way towards removing a massive stumbling block in the club’s pursuit of automatic promotion.
Profiled as a clinical finisher, who also excels with his ability to drop deep and link up the play as a supporting striker (h/t Lancashire Live), Vydra is a goalscorer with proven pedigree in the Championship. He would certainly be a massive upgrade on the likes of Patrick Bamford and Tyler Roberts.
Bamford started the campaign on a promising note, scoring 4 times in his first 6 league outings. However, he endured a ten-game goal drought thereafter before returning to form in the 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers prior to the international break.
To that end, Leeds cannot afford such inconsistencies if they are to secure an automatic promotion berth. While Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah continues to be a useful option, Vydra’s presence would do Leeds a world of good.
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Indeed, that could be crucial towards the crunch end of the season when the race for promotion goes down to the wire. Thus, the west Yorkshire giants must go all out to sign Vydra.