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Aleksandar Mitrovic is the type of striker Leeds United should have targeted in January

The Serbian has been in fine form since joining Fulham on loan from Newcastle United.

Mathew Nash

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Leeds United’s excellent travelling support was left frustrated once again last night, as they watched their side lose 2-0 to Fulham at Craven Cottage. The high-flying Londoners deserved all three points, with goals from Kevin Mcdonald and Aleksandar Mitrovic proving the difference.

The latter was in fine form. Not only did the Serbian scored the second, but it was his header which deflected in off an unknowing McDonald for the first. He was a constant thorn in the side for Leeds defender Pontus Jansson, who struggled to control his adversary throughout the night.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 06: Aleksandar Mitrovic of Fulham celebratres after scoring his sides first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Sheffield United at Craven Cottage on March 6, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Leeds fans will rightly feel frustrated that they did not go for a player of Mitrovic’s calibre in January. Since arriving at Fulham from Newcastle United in the winter window he has been electric for the Cottagers. Eight goals in 11 games have seen Mitrovic become the most feared striker in the Championship at this moment in time.

Leeds have not had such a potent threat up front all season. Pierre-Michel Lasogga threatened to be their striker extraordinaire for a while, but his form has fallen away dramatically.

Then there is Caleb Ekuban. A willing worker, he simply doesn’t have the killer instinct of a player like Mitrovic. Nothing best sums that up then Mitrovic’s second goal. Just seconds before the Serbian finished a sweeping counter-attack from the Cottagers, Ekuban fired Leeds’ best chance straight at opposing keeper Marcus Bettinelli.

When Jay-Roy Grot headed over an easy chance at 2-0, Leeds fans had their heads in hands.

The West Yorkshire side did sign a forward in January. Tyler Roberts signed from West Brom but the youngster has been suffering from injury ever since his arrival.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 03: Pontus Jansson of Leeds United hugs Aleksandar Mitrovic of Fulham during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Leeds United at Craven Cottage on April 3, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Leeds should have been in the market for a striker with the calibre of Mitrovic to carry them over their rough period and potentially keep them in the hunt for the playoffs.

Instead, they are stuck with the unfit Lasogga, the goal-shy Ekuban and the limited Grot.

If Leeds are to mount a serious promotion challenge next season, a far greater threat will be needed in the centre-forward role.

Nottingham Forest

What role can Daryl Murphy play at Nottingham Forest next season?

The Nottingham Forest striker faces an interesting year at the City Ground.

Mathew Nash

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When Nottingham Forest snapped up Daryl Murphy last summer it looked like a coup for the club. Signed for a fee in the region of £2 million from Newcastle United fans were excited about the Republic of Ireland star’s arrival.

They had good reason to be excited. Murphy had just played a role in Newcastle United’s promotion to the Premier League. He had been scoring goals for fun at Ipswich Town. Murphy netted 27 goals in 2014-15 and in the previous three seasons had scored a total of 50 goals.

But last season was a struggle for the Irishman. Injury hampered his debut season at Forest. Despite scoring six goals in his first 11 games for the club, it soon turned sour.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

He scored just once more in 20 more games for Forest and featured just six times in 2018.


“It was a tough season last season for Daryl. So far he has been training really, really well and he looks confident; he looks strong – although he has always been strong.

“I was really pleased, because he is doing really well and he is a player who can help us a lot.”

– Aitor Karanka speaking in July


So does he have a future at the club?

Forest have improved their attacking options immensely this summer. The arrival of El Arbi Hillel Soudani and Lewis Grabban has added massive firepower up top. With youngster Ben Brereton also fighting for a first-team spot with Joe Lolley capable of playing up top, Murphy has a job on his hands.

At 35-years-old he may find himself happy with a bit-part impact role at the City Ground. He may have to because it does not seem he will be a starter next season.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves’ incoming recruit Joao Moutinho was once targeted as Luka Modric replacement

Wolves are set to sign the Portugal star for just £5 million.

Mathew Nash

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In many ways, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ impending deal to sign Joao Moutinho from Monaco is no surprise. The Portuguese international is a client of Jorge Mendes who has helped bring many stars to Molineux in recent months.

On the other hand, it is a massive shock. Moutinho only signed a new deal with Monaco at the end of March. Then there is the price-tag. According to Sky Sports, the deal is worth £5 million between the two clubs.

Moutinho has, in the past, been valued considerably higher.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

When Tottenham Hotspur agreed on a deal to sign him in 2012 the fee was £24 million. In the end, he decided he did not want to leave Porto that summer leaving Tottenham without a Luka Modric replacement.  

He ended up joining Monaco a year later for a similar fee and over the years has been heralded as one of European football’s more understated midfield dynamos.

Considering Everton are about to pay ten times as much to bring in Richarlison from Watford, it highlights how good a deal this is for Wolves.

Moutinho succeeds nearly everywhere he plays, even on an international level where he won Euro 2016 with his nation. But even if he doesn’t at Wolves, the price-tag is so low it was worth the risk.

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Leeds United

Leeds United round-up: Saiz wanted, Vydra and Hernandez deals rumble on, Machuca unveiled

All the latest news and gossip from Leeds United.

Mathew Nash

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Saiz-able offer

Leeds United are fending off admirers in Spanish talent Samuel Saiz. According to Fichajes, he was wanted by three La Liga clubs this summer. The talented playmaker has courted the interest of former club Huesca, Getafe and Valencia.

The latter are said to have made a bid of £8.9 million for his services, whilst Getafe have also made Leeds an offer.

However, the report claims that Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has absolutely no desire to sell the 27-year-old, who he sees as key to Leeds’ hopes this season.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Demands must change

Leeds have not yet given up on signing either Matej Vydra or Abel Hernandez this summer, according to YEP journalist Phil Hay.

Leeds offered a contract to free agent Hernandez and had a £11 million bid accepted for Czech talent Vydra.

However, both could not agree on personal terms with Leeds as finances proved a major stumbling block.

Hay claims that no deal will go through unless either player drops their demands.

Machuca unveiled

Alejandro Machuca has been unveiled by his new club, after leaving Leeds on loan. The under-23 star has joined Burgos of Spain’s third-tier for the upcoming season.

The attacker was signed last July from Rayo Vallecano and played a prominent role in Carlos Corberan’s team last season.

He will now hope for regular football back in Spain.

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