Leeds United’s month-long pursuit has paid off with the capture of Cani, the striker that most of us probably wanted the least – against the rival attractions of the somewhat more exotic Leonardo Pavoletti, who opted to stay in Italy despite the temptations of a West Yorkshire winter. So it’s Cani for Leeds, a 6’4″ beanpole of a striker who, it is said, will suit the Redders style of play. He appears to be the non-prolific, target man type of striker – so we can anticipate that he will rival Steve Morison for a place in the starting line-up. The question is: will Cani help to improve the supply to the real goalscorers in the squad? That supply needs to come at least in part from out wide as demonstrated in the win at Huddersfield when Antenucci put over the sort of cross he’d love to be on the end of himself, for the hungry Billy Sharp to gobble up.
As I write, there yet remain six long hours of this transfer window – time enough for one or two wide boys to be recruited. Michael Tonge has had his inoculations and has headed off to Millwall; one theory was that this move might pave the way for Castleford-born, scum-supporting ‘Wall winger Martyn Woolford to link up with Leeds. No sign of that as yet – and really, he’s not exactly Maxi Gradel, is he?
Sharp’s emphatic finish at the Puppy Farm at the weekend emphasised the fact that, if you give a finisher some quality supply, he will deliver the goods. If Leeds are to capitalise fully on the potential of Sharp, then we must pay attention to our options in those wide areas. Byram and some of the other junior talents available will not do, not just yet or for the longer term. A winger, either in the last few hours of this window or in the emergency loan market to follow, is a real necessity. Two wingers would be even better.
The next few hours could go a long way towards defining our goals potential for the rest of the season, and the escape bid that lies ahead. The new man has the desire and potential to help – but he “Cani” do it on his own.