The transfer window is fast coming to an end and it has been an eventful summer to say the least. Chris Wood gone, strangers who are now favourites, the likes of Samu Saiz and Ezgjan Alioski and potential in abundance, including 4 El Classico youngsters in the development squad. The next signing (excluding Andy Lonergan) will be so important in the way we set up for the season, and the way we play.
Having Chris Wood in the side guaranteed goals, although he missed a few sitters in the opening games. It also gave the other players an excuse to knock long balls towards him, lazy in all honesty given the other players who want the ball to feet. Compare that to Sunderland last week and we were a different beast, and in reality much better. Caleb Ekuban wasn’t going to win flicks and take the ball on his chest holding defenders off. He wanted balls into his feet, into the channel so he could link up with the three behind him, Saiz and Alioski in particular who excelled playing a style they know so much better. Chris Wood was more than capable of playing this way, but we didn’t use him like that and the new number 9, whoever that may be will be a crucial signing for not just goals, but style.
Rudy Gestede is probably the most likely at the moment and if I’m honest I like the player. He hasn’t performed well since leaving Blackburn, especially at Aston Villa in the Premier League when they were terrible, but every player in that squad will have written the season off, one of the worst in Premier League history. He went to Boro but was playing second fiddle to Alvaro Negredo and now, although he has featured in all of the league games so far has to compete with Ashley Fletcher, Patrick Bamford, Martin Braithwaite and Britt Assombalonga. Gestede is more than capable of playing with his feet and linking up with the players behind him and he is best striker in the air at this level, of that there is little doubt. The key would be making sure that the players knew that the long ball was not an option despite his physical presence.
Gestede is the player linked with Leeds
If Leeds were to go for someone like Nahki Wells for example the long balls up the park wouldn’t be an option, the same as Kemer Roofe during the week. At Sunderland we played through the lines and that started at the back. Liam Cooper cut out those diagonals and he is normally the main culprit. Ayling and Anita were linking up well going forward but Anita is restricted with the way the plays, the re-introduction of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson will certainly add a different dimension going forward and we looked dangerous every time we went on the attack. Samu Saiz is a fantastic number 10 and we need to make sure that whoever plays in front of him has the movement he needs to pull the strings. Is it a coincidence he has played so well without Wood this season?