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Leeds United finally targeting strikers with Championship experience

Leeds United have been linked with two stars of the Championship.

Mathew Nash

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Leeds United have been linked with some exciting new arrivals this summer, not only in the managerial fold. The club have also been linked with two forwards that have tongues wagging. Abel Hernandez is a free agent having left Hull City and Leeds have reportedly offered him a deal. Matej Vydra is also on the transfer wishlist for Leeds. The Yorkshire Evening Post say they are looking into a deal, which will cost in excess of £10 million.

Leeds have struggled to replace Chris Wood in attack in recent years and last season tried to do so with the likes of Caleb Ekuban, Jay-Roy Grot and Pierre-Michel Lasogga.

(Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

However, if you look at the scoring charts from the Championship last season it is clear what is needed to score at this level. Experience.

Vydra topped the charts with 21 goals. In second was Lewis Grabban with 20 for Sunderland and Aston Villa. Joint-third was Leon Clarke with 19 goals whilst the likes of Martyn Waghorn and Britt Assombalonga are also in the top five.

Vydra has scored goals in the Championship with the likes of Watford and Reading prior to his time at Pride Park. Grabban has done the same with Bournemouth and Norwich City. Clarke has played plenty of football in the Football League.

The Czech forward and Uruguayan talent are therefore perfect striking options for Leeds. Vydra has bags of experience in the Championship. Hernandez scored 20 goals in the 2015-16 Championship season.

What Leeds need are players with proven pedigree in the second-tier to find the goals for a promotion hunt. In Vydra and Hernandez they have exactly that.

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Leeds United

Pontus Jansson performance shows Leeds United need to give him the right partner

Leeds United must bring in a suitable centre-back partner this summer.

Mathew Nash

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Pontus Jansson
Photo: Getty Images

Leeds United fans were left thoroughly pleased with the performance of their folk hero Pontus Jansson in the World Cup yesterday. Hauled into the starting XI at the last minute after Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof fell ill he was imperious at the back for the Swedes.

He dominated in the air, looked comfortable on the ball and made some crucial tackles and interceptions throughout.

For Leeds fans it was something of a throwback to the 2017 Pontus Jansson that they had grown to love. The Swedish defender was the standout performer in the Championship in the defensive positions that season.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

But last campaign he struggled. Jansson, burdened by responsibility, often found himself putting in sub-par performances.

What the Sweden game proved is what many already knew, for Jansson to thrive he needs the right defensive partner.

When he thrived for Leeds he had Kyle Bartley alongside him. A ball-playing centre-half with a calming influence. Yesterday, for Sweden, he played alongside Andreas Granqvist, very similar in style to Bartley.

It leaves the Leeds man free to do what he does best. Cut out passes, go win headers, make crunching tackles. Basically, play like the old school defender he is.

Last season at Leeds he did not have a regular partner and if Leeds want him to get back to his best on a club level Victor Orta and co must bring in a suitable team-mate to let him do just that.

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Leeds United

Leeds United should ask for Branimir Hrgota in any Felix Wiedwald deal

The Swedish striker could be a smart signing from Leeds United.

Mathew Nash

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It appears that Leeds United might have found themselves a buyer for flop goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald. According to reports it appears that the German could be heading back to his homeland, with Eintracht Frankfurt keen. Last season’s DFB Pokal winners are, according to their sporting director Bruno Hubner, keen on signing the 28-year-old.

Removing Wiedwald’s wages from the books was always imperative for Leeds this summer, after he failed to have an impressive impact on the English game.

Instead, he was eventually demoted to third-choice behind both Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Andy Lonergan.

(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

But if Leeds are to sell him to Frankfurt, they should get a player in exchange. Swedish striker Branimir Hrgota was dubbed the ‘next Zlatan Ibrahimovic’ as a youngster. The reasons why were clear. His Balkan descent, rangey figure and impressive goalscoring record for Jonkopings Sodra all saw people compare him to the Swedish legend.

Now at Frankfurt, the 25-year-old has struggled to impose himself on a side that already has the likes of Ante Rebic and Sebastian Haller available, as well as occasional striker Kevin Prince Boateng, he has barely got a look in.

After just eight Bundesliga appearances this season it seems Hrgota will be sold and Leeds should seriously consider asking for him in exchange for Wiedwald.

Leeds need striking reinforcements this summer and Hrgota is still full of talent if given the right opportunities.

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Has Pontus Jansson pushed Victor Lindelof out of the Sweden team?

Leeds United’s centre-back was brilliant for Sweden this afternoon.

Mathew Nash

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Sweden took on South Korea in the World Cup earlier today and it was a game that Leeds United fans would have been tuning in for. That was due to the presence of their central defender Pontus Jansson at the back for the Scandinavian outfit.

Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof pulled out of action at the last minute after coming down with a stomach bug. Leeds fans therefore enjoyed their cult hero taking the place of fierce rival’s Manchester United’s £30.75 million defender.

Jansson struggled for Leeds last season, with a lack of a decent centre-back partner seeing him struggle for form.

But he stepped into the role with aplomb alongside captain and goalscorer Andreas Granqvist.

(Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

Jansson was exceptional at the back for Sweden, showcasing the sort of form that first saw him become such a hero for Leeds. Dominant in the air, when staring down the barrel of dangerman Heung-min Son on the ground he dealt with the Tottenham player with ease.

Now the question is, does Jansson keep Lindelof out of the Sweden team. Based on his performance against South Korea, there is no doubt he is deserving of such an accolade.

Leeds fans will no doubt be concerned that if he continues to perform in such a manner, rival teams may come calling to bring him away from Elland Road.

But if he stays, new boss Marcelo Bielsa will no doubt be hoping to mold him into a lasting Leeds United star.

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