Why Paying Over £10m For Jordan Rhodes Would Be A Blunder By Leeds United
Leeds United have been dealt with a blow, late in the transfer window, as their star striker Chris Wood has left the club to join Premier League side Burnley for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £15m (BBC). The 25-year old New Zealand international top scored for the Whites last season, finding the net on 30 occasions in all competitions.
This does leave Leeds in a bit of a limbo this late in the transfer window, as they don’t have enough depth in the centre-forward position, with Caleb Ekuban picking up an injury on Saturday and Marcus Antonsson out on loan at League One side Blackburn Rovers. But, according to the Daily Mail, the club have identified Sheffield Wednesday’s Jordan Rhodes as the target to replace the departed Wood.
The 27-year old Scotsman has been with the Owls since January this year, having arrived on loan from Middlesbrough, before making the move permanent last month. Rhodes first made his name with Leeds’ Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town, having joined the Terriers from Ipswich Town back in 2009. The striker managed a brilliant tally of 86 goals and 14 assists in 147 appearances, spanning over three seasons between 2009 and 2012.
Following his tremendous exploits, Rhodes was snapped up by Blackburn Rovers in 2012, where he once again continued in a similar vein, scoring 84 times and notching up 13 assists in 186 appearances, before being signed up by Middlesbrough in January 2016.
He scored 6 goals in the second half of the season, helping Boro to a promotion. However, things slowly started going downhill for the Scottish international as he struggled to establish himself in the Premier League. Having failed to score a single goal, he was loaned out to the Owls in January, where he managed only 3 goals in 18 Championship games. Yet, the deal was made a permanent one for a fee believed to be in the range of £10million.
Rhodes has found himself warming the benches for Wednesday this season, with Gary Hooper and Fernando Forestieri seemingly ahead of him in the pecking order.
The 27-year old may have had an enviable goal-scoring record back in his days with Huddersfield and Blackburn, but he has been on a steep decline in the past 18 months or so. Yes, he has proven himself in the Championship before – 94 goals in 210 appearances in the English second division is a very good record to have. But, the fact that he is the third-choice at Owls and that they are open to selling him a month after signing him permanently should serve as a warning for Leeds.
For all his past exploits, Rhodes just scored three goals last year and is clearly on a downward spiral. And paying over £10million for the 27-year old, in the hope that he might rediscover his touch again, could really end up backfiring for Leeds.