Leeds United were linked with Harold Moukoudi during January.
Leeds United’s latest 2-0 defeat at promotion rivals Nottingham Forest has prompted yet more inquest into the club’s form.
The Whites had an 11-point lead over third place in mid-December.
A run of just two wins in ten games, however, has seen that lead vanished. Leeds are now second, ahead of third-placed Fulham on goal difference.
The general thought is that Leeds struggle to turn dominance into goals. Fingers are pointed at Patrick Bamford who has 12 goals this season – eight behind Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Leeds spent the best part of January trying to rectify this. The Whites finally managed to land Jean-Kevin Augustin on loan from RB Leipzig. So far, he has featured for just 19 minutes in the Championship.
Augustin may prove to be that clinical striker Leeds supporters are craving. However, a new problem is arising at Elland Road.
19 goals conceded in their last ten league games is not promotion form.
Since beating Hull City 2-0 in mid-December [a seventh straight win and a fourth without conceding], Leeds have failed to register a clean sheet.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side went from having the best defensive record in the league, and by some distance, to now having conceded four more than Brentford.
The long search for a new striker in January may have some reward. But what about the defence? Have Leeds’ scoring woes blinded them from a new weakness?
According to L’Equipe, Marcelo Bielsa was keen on a late move for St Etienne central defender Harold Moukoudi. The Cameroon international was linked with a £10.7 million move to both West Ham United and Burnley back in 2018 (Daily Mail). He has pedigree.
Moukoudi, however, ended up joining Middlesbrough on loan with manager Jonathan Woodgate later gushing over his debut for the club (Teesside Live).
Leeds may end up regretting missing out on the 22-year-old. He stands at 6ft 3inch, and is quick and powerful. Ideal to defend at set-pieces, and good at recovering counterattacks which Leeds have struggled to deal with of late.
Moreover, a lack of options with Kalvin Phillips suspended [pushing Ben White into midfield] saw Luke Ayling moved into centre-back at Forest while Liam Cooper had a game to forget.