Junior Kabananga would be a risky purchase for Leeds

A general view of Elland Road Stadium prior to kick off in the Sky Bet Championship League match between Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers, at Elland Road Stadium on March 5, 2016 in Leeds,...

Leeds appear happy to sign untested strikers to back up Chris Wood.

Not only did Chris Wood top the Championship’s scoring charts last season, he also contributed to a larger proportion of his side’s goals than any of the division’s top-10 goalscorers.

The towering New Zealander bagged a massive 45% of Leeds’ league strikes by netting 27 times last term, making him the single-most important player in the squad.

After Wood, the next highest goal tally for the Whites was six, shared by centre-back Kyle Bartley – who is no longer at the club – and forwards Pablo Hernandez and Souleymane Doukara.

Chris Wood of Leeds United celebrates scoring his second goal with Kalvin Phillips during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Leeds United at St Andrews (stadium) on...Chris Wood of Leeds United celebrates scoring his second goal with Kalvin Phillips during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Leeds United at St Andrews (stadium) on...

Those numbers would have made it clear to Thomas Christiansen that finding additional firepower for his first campaign at the helm was a high priority. But Leeds haven’t taken a conventional path towards providing him with it.

First Caleb Ekuban was plucked from the obscurity of a loan deal in Albania. Following on from that deal, the Whites are being linked by Teamtalk to a move for Junior Kabananga, who plays for Kazakhstani champions Astana.

With Wood set to lead the line for the majority of the campaign, opportunities to find a rhythm on the pitch look likely to be limited for any newcomers.

And for Ekuban and Kabananga, if he arrives, that could be problematic considering neither have experienced the hustle and bustle of the Championship before.

If Leeds are to live up to their ambitions of a top-six finish this term then Wood’s deputies need to be capable of scoring important goals, whether that’s in an impact role off the bench or by shouldering the scoring responsibility should the 25-year-old pick up an injury.

Ekuban made a fast start to life in white after netting the fourth and final goal of Leeds' Carabao Cup rout of Port Vale, but he will need to produce in the Chanpionship if he is to be considered a real success.  

Both strikers had impressive seasons for their respective clubs last season. Ekuban scored 17 league goals for FK Partizani, while Kabananga netted 14 for Astana. But the quality of those divisions compared to the strength of the cash-rich Championship is open to debate.

Apoel's Danish head coach Thomas Christiansen instructs his players during the Europa League football match between APOEL Nicosia vs Athletic Club Bilbao at the Neo GSP Stadium in Nicosia...Apoel's Danish head coach Thomas Christiansen instructs his players during the Europa League football match between APOEL Nicosia vs Athletic Club Bilbao at the Neo GSP Stadium in Nicosia...

It’s therefore a very risky strategy to ask one, possibly two, strikers to reproduce their form in a tougher environment, that they are not used to, and in limited game time.

If the moves pay off, then Christiansen and director of football Victor Orta will be hailed as geniuses. But failure could be the difference between promotion and another season in the second tier.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch