Leeds wanted Premier League striker Tomer Hemed in the summer, hopes over now

Leeds manager Thomas Christiansen looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff City and Leeds United at Cardiff City Stadium on September 26, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales.

Leeds United tried and failed to sign Brighton frontman Tomer Hemed in the summer.

Chris Wood and Robert Green of Leeds United claps the fans after the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on February 25, 2017 in Leeds,...

With Leeds United’s season collapsing after the most promising of starts, much of the fans' criticism has been directed at transfer chief Victor Orta due to his failure to find a proven Championship striker capable of filling the void left by Chris Wood.

Pierre-Michel Lasogga started brightly but the goals have dried up and the Hamburg loanee’s lacklustre performances have drawn the ire of unsatisfied supporters.

Meanwhile, Caleb Ekuban has missed almost the entire season through injury and remains completely unproven while 19-year-old Jay-Roy Grot has plenty to learn after his summer move from the Dutch second tier.

And with Tomer Hemed extending his Brighton contract till 2019 on Tuesday, this only exacerbates Orta’s transfer failings. The Israeli international, linked with an August move to Elland Road by The Sun, looked like the perfect successor for Wood at the tip of Leeds’ attack.

Tomer Hemed of Brighton scores the only goal of the game during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Newcastle United at Amex Stadium on September 24, 2017 in...

After all, the 30-year-old had tallied an impressive 28 goals across two Championship seasons with Brighton while laying claim to a further 10 assists.

The late-blooming striker had enjoyed the most prolific spells of his nomadic career in England’s second tier and boasted the link-play, aerial presence and natural-born instincts to at least offset Leeds’ inability to keep hold of last season’s Championship Golden Boot winner.

Brighton's Israeli striker Tomer Hemed (L) vies with Newcastle United's Enlish midfielder Isaac Hayden during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and...

Whether Hemed would have prevented Leeds from falling into crisis and losing seven of their last nine league fixtures is open to debate. But a striker with a proven track record in English football is what Leeds are badly lacking and, in the eyes of the fans, crying out for in January.

Unfortunately, Hemed now appears to have slipped through their grasp for good.

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