Why Ibrahim Sissoko could be a perfect signing for Leeds United in January
The 24-year-old, who currently plies his trade with French second-tier outfit FC Chamois Niort, has also attracted interest from promotion rivals Nottingham Forest ahead of the mid-season trading period. (Foot Mercato via Sport Witness h/t Nottinghamshire Live)
The towering 6ft 3in hitman, who has caught the eye with his impressive goalscoring form at Niort in Ligue 2 this term, is the latest striker to have hit Marcelo Bielsa’s radar.
Sissoko boasts of a tally of 8 goals and 1 assist in 14 league outings so far (at the time of writing) and that could be enough to warrant a coveted move to the EFL Championship in the upcoming transfer window.
Having only featured for various lower-division clubs in France, including FC Lorient and Beziers prior to his move to Niort this past summer, Leeds United’s links with Ibrahim Sissoko might not be enough to set the fans at Elland Road into waves to ecstasy.
However, with Arsenal planning a recall for on-loan starlet Eddie Nketiah due to his lack of regular involvement in Bielsa’s starting XI in the Championship, the Whites certainly need to start planning for life without the youngster. (h/t Daily Mail)
Despite making a positive impact from the bench on a number of occasions, Nketiah is yet to start a game in the Championship for Leeds United.
Indeed, if Arsenal do end up recalling Nketiah, that would leave Bielsa with some serious food for thought heading into the crucial second half of the season. The Whites are already short of genuine goalscorers and losing Nketiah would only aggravate the situation.
Patrick Bamford has returned to form in recent weeks following a ten-game scoreless streak in the Championship and while Tyler Roberts continues to be a handy option, neither of the aforementioned strikers seems to have that much-needed consistency in the game to fire Leeds to automatic promotion.
Lack of proper striking options was one of the big talking points from Leeds’ failed pursuit of promotion last season and that could once again be a major stumbling block for them this term if Bielsa fails to shore up his options up top.
To that end, bringing in someone like Ibrahim Sissoko could possibly go a long way towards adding some much-needed depth to the club’s striking options.
As evident from Bielsa’s reliance on Bamford, the former Chelsea man could well remain the first choice to lead the attack in the coming months but having Sissoko could add another dimension to the forward line.
Notwithstanding the fact that the 24-year-old looks like a gamble for Leeds due to the lack of any previous experience in English football, his superb form in Ligue 2 suggests that Sissoko could well have what it takes to make the step up to a more competitive league.
Plus, Leeds are in dire need of a focal point in their attack, unlike Bamford, who likes to run the channels. Sissoko might fill in that void with his 6ft 3in frame up top.
The Frenchman, 24, still has a lot of time on his side to make adjustments to his game in order to thrive in the EFL Championship, and considering the fact that current Premier League stars Riyad Mahrez, Matteo Guendouzi and N’Golo Kante all rose to prominence from Ligue 2, scouring the French second-tier for Sissoko might not be a bad idea for Leeds.
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That said, Leeds United’s links with Ibrahim Sissoko certainly makes a lot of sense and the Whites could find themselves a step closer to promotion if he manages to translate his rich vein of form in his homeland at Elland Road during the second half of the campaign.