Leeds United manager Steve Evans is looking for a new striker during the emergency loan window, but a couple of issues have limited his search.
Not since mid-December have Leeds United scored more than two goals in a single game, a problem their manager is publicly keen to address.
Steve Evans admitted earlier this month that he missed out on deals for two new strikers in January, adding, as reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, that “everyone can see” it is an area he needs to strengthen.
Since then, though, Evans has revealed two constraints he faces in his bid to bolster the Whites’ attack, with potential loan signings needing to be A) cheap and B) available in both the short and long term, as reported by BBC Radio Leeds.
Such restrictions dramatically limit Leeds’ options and have already put paid to their pursuit of Norwich striker Kyle Lafferty.
So who’s left? Here are five players who fit the criteria outlined by Evans:
Wales Online reported on deadline day that the Italian was on his way out of Cardiff, but a deal failed to materialise. The former Manchester United man has only played eight times in 2015-16, with no goals to his name, but scored eight in 25 last term and 13 in 33 during spells at Doncaster Rovers and Birmingham City the season before that, which is not bad going at all.
Still only 24, there’s plenty of time for Macheda to recapture his best form and a contract which expires in 18 months, combined with Cardiff’s apparent willingness to sell, could see Leeds landing him on the cheap.
Another who, despite enduring a goalless campaign, has previously performed well, if never prolifically, at Championship level. Cox started against former club West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, but only because Matej Vydra wasn’t fully fit and Yann Kermorgant was cup-tied.
He was loaned out once already this season, to Bristol City, and with his contract up in June he’ll be hungry to play in order to earn himself a contract next season – in all likelihood, somewhere that isn’t the Madejski Stadium.
A semi-regular under Mauricio Pochettino two seasons ago – albeit mainly from the bench – Gallagher’s Southampton career has faltered due to a knee injury which prevented him from playing at all last term. A loan spell at Milton Keynes Dons proved fruitless earlier in the campaign, but at 6ft 4 he is likely to suit Leeds’ system more than he did theirs.
The 20-year-old is under contract for another two-and-a-half seasons at St. Mary’s, but with Charlie Austin, Shane Long and Graziano Pelle all ahead of him, not to mention Jay Rodriguez on his way back, it’s not hard to envisage a permanent exit this summer.
Perhaps not the central striker Evans identified in January, but a player who would certainly complement a fit Chris Wood if playing just off the Leeds’ number 9. Hull rebuffed approaches for the Nigerian in January, according to the Hull Daily Mail, but if their promotion push continues to gather pace, they may be more willing to release the 27-year-old, who’s out of contract in June.
Wages could be an issue here, with Emnes contracted to Premier League Swansea for the past two seasons. However, the Dutchman has featured just three times this term and is yet to make a single matchday squad since Alberto Paloschi’s arrival from Parma, so a desire to play could outweigh his financial demands.
His is a name that’s cropped up before, when the South Wales Evening Post linked him with a temporary move to Elland Road last November.