Leeds United may still find themselves in pole position to seal promotion from the Championship, but the Elland Road faithful would be somewhat forgiven for wondering whether their position could have been even better had events played out differently in January.
With Eddie Nketiah returning to Arsenal after his loan spell, Marcelo Bielsa needed a new striker. And it appeared that Che Adams was his primary target.
As reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds had at least three bids for the Southampton man rejected.
The third saw Leeds offer to take Adams on loan for the rest of the season before paying £20 million to make the deal permanent if promotion was secured.
While Adams’s record for the Saints looks underwhelming, his impressive performances in the Championship hinted that he could prove to be an inspired addition to Bielsa’s ranks.
Unfortunately for Leeds, Southampton rejected all offers. And the Whites ended up taking Jean-Kevin Augustin on loan before the window shut.
And in the week that Leeds confirmed that they would not be extending Augustin’s loan for the final games of the campaign, the Whites were smacked around the face with a reminder as to why they wanted Adams in the first place.
Adams broke the deadlock in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side’s clash with Manchester City on Sunday. And it was a stunning strike that many Saints fans will probably say was worth the wait after he had gone 29 appearances without a goal for the club before the weekend.
The 23-year-old lifted a delicious effort over Ederson from some distance for what proved to be the winning goal.
Hasenhuttl clearly has not lost faith in Adams. Nevertheless, plenty of Leeds fans took to social media to note that that goal probably ends any potential hope of landing the striker in the summer.
It is not clear whether Leeds will make a fresh move to try and land Adams should they go up. But many supporters have accepted that the task has probably just got a lot more difficult.
Here is how some of the Leeds fans reacted to Adams’s stunning goal…
— Philip McGowan (@pipmcgowan) July 5, 2020
Still hoping we go and buy Che Adams in the summer… Think at the right sort of club with good surroundings, he could kick on and be a proper decent footballer ?? #lufc
— James Courtney (@jcourts1991) July 5, 2020
Decent that from Che Adams. We shoild look at signing him in the summer #lufc
— Tommo v2 (@LUFC1992_v2) July 5, 2020
Well we can kiss goodbye to Adams ? Orta will be fuming! #LUFC
— Alex Wilcockson (@Awilco93) July 5, 2020
Che Adams’ price has just gone up #lufc
— Paul Drake (@Drakeylufc) July 5, 2020
Che Adams should be doing that for Leeds since January ?
— Murrier (@MurrierLUFC) July 5, 2020
Che Adams with “that is what you could have won” to Leeds moment.
— Arnie B (@arnie_booth) July 5, 2020