They may currently be without a manager, but that doesn’t mean Leeds United aren’t getting involved in the transfer window right now. And the club’s primary target is reportedly Chievo Verona striker Caleb Ekuban.
Right now our traders make it a 3/1 shot for the Ghanaian to make Elland Road his new home – and there’s plenty of reason to believe the Whites board should make good on securing his signature.
He’s lethal in front of goal
The 23-year-old may so have struggled to break into the first team at Serie A stalwarts Chievo, but he showed his parent club exactly what they were missing last term, with a stellar campaign up front for Albanian side Partizani Tirana.
Ekuban netted 17 times in 34 league games, as well as chalking up five assists – meaning he directly contributed to 22 goals (or 48% of all the club’s goals last term).
A lethal finisher who only needs one chance to do the damage, he proved his composure in front of goal by netting the winning penalty as Partizani knocked Hungarian giants Ferencvaros out in last season’s Champions League qualifiers.
He’d be a good fit for the Championship…and for Wood
Having finished 2016-17 as the Championship’s top scorer with a mammoth 27 goals, there’s no doubt Chris Wood is Leeds’ most important player. But he had little help in attacking areas, with former Kalmar striker Marcus Antonsson and Souleymane Doukara both proving poor foils for the New Zealander up front.
While it’s impossible to quite know how a Wood-Ekuban partnership would play out until when – and if – we see it, the former’s aerial ability and close-range finishing would seem a good counterbalance to the Ghanaian’s pace, creativity and aggressive streak.
On that last point, it’s highly unlikely he’d struggle against the Championship’s more physical outfits, having built a reputation for robust physical play and tough tackling.
Leeds could get him for an absolute snip
Having spent most of the past four years on loan, Ekuban looks unlikely to want to stay at Chievo, and perhaps more importantly, the chances of the club extending his contract look pretty unlikely.
That’s seen Transfermarkt.co.uk estimate the player’s market value at just £149k. While that seems remarkably low, even a figure 10x that size would appear to estimate good value for a player with the Ghanaian’s end product and promising potential.
So, will the West Yorkshire club heed our advice and get their man this summer? Only time will tell…
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing