Why Leeds Should Turn Their Attention Away From Middlebrough’s Rudy Gestede
According to reports from the Gazette Live, Leeds United have had a £6million bid rejected for Middlesbrough striker Rudy Gestede.
The Mirror reported on Monday that the Whites had made an offer for the Benin international, following last season’s top-scorer Chris Wood’s transfer to Burnley for a fee of £15million. However, the Teessiders have rebuffed their Championship rivals as per latest reports.
Leeds are in need of a striker and that goes without saying, at this point. The Yorkshire-based club have lost Wood to the Premier League and will also be without summer signing Caleb Ekuban, after the 23-year old picked up an injury during the weekend. Having sent Marcus Antonsson out on loan and with Souleymane Doukara set to leave, manager Thomas Christiansen is without a recognised centre-forward in the ranks.
But, is Gestede the answer to their problems? That would be a no for me.
The 28-year old got his first taste of English football with Cardiff City, whom he joined in the summer of 2011 from French club Metz. After a couple of years of a relatively barren spell, he was scooped up by Blackburn Rovers, and that is where he managed to put himself on the map, scoring 13 goals in his first season with the club and 20 more in his second.
His exploits saw Premier League club Aston Villa snap him up in the summer of 2015 and since then, he has been on a sharp decline. He managed just 10 goals in 55 games for the Villans, before Middlesbrough signed him up in January this year. Gestede managed just a solitary goal in 16 Premier League games, as Boro dropped back down to the Championship. He has scored once in 4 league games in the ongoing campaign.
Strong and physical, he is often unbeatable in the air, which makes him a huge threat within the box. But apart from that, there isn’t much that he tends to bring to the table. Yes, the Benin international has experience in the English second-tier. Gestede has scored 44 goals in 140 Championship games throughout his career, at a rate of one goal every 161 minutes. But, the last time he managed to reach double figures with his goal tally was in 2014/15 with Blackburn. In the past two campaigns, he has managed just 12 goals in all competitions.
That is clearly not what Leeds should be aiming for, given their lofty ambitions. They are in the market to replace Wood – someone who scored 30 goals for them last season. True, they have brought in the likes of Samu Saiz and Gianni Alioski, who will be able to share the burden of scoring goals. But they will still need a leading man who will get them 15-plus goals if they are to achieve their promotion targets. Given the recent form, Gestede clearly isn’t that man.