It was not long before becoming the new manager of Leeds United that Paul Heckingbottom brought in a talented striker from Swansea City to former club Barnsley. Oli McBurnie arrived on loan until the end of the season as Heckingbottom looked to keep the Tykes in the Championship. Then, Thomas Christiansen got the sack and the Barnsley boss jumped ship, heading to Elland Road to try and revitalise their promotion push.
McBurnie has since gone on to showcase his excellent ability as a second-tier striker. The Scottish striker has scored eight goals in 13 games for Barnsley since joining the club. Add that to his time with Swansea’s under-23s and first team this season, McBurnie has an impressive record of 18 goals in 32 games this season.
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This summer, Leeds must make a move to bring him to West Yorkshire.
There have been rumblings of interest in the player, along with others from Heckingbottom’s past at Oakwell, but the arrival of McBurnie could be the most important recruitment work of Leeds’ summer.
The Whites have struggled terribly with the departure of Chris Wood. The New Zealand striker headed to Burnley in the summer and, without his constant stream of goals, Leeds could not maintain a promotion push.
The players brought in to replace him have far from lived up to his standard. Pierre-Michel Lasogga showed flashes of inspiration but has been poor in recent weeks. Caleb Ekuban is too erratic in front of goal and Jay-Roy Grot is a young player of whom the Leeds fans have little faith.
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McBurnie, on the other hand, is proving himself a potent threat in the Championship and is doing so with a side battling relegation.
Next season, Leeds will need to have made improvements across the squad if they are to be considered serious promotion candidates again.
But bringing in someone to score the goals is perhaps the most important piece of business for Victor Orta, Andrea Radrizzani and Heckingbottom.
McBurnie could definitely be that man.