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

Championship

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.

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.

Mathew Nash

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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