Leeds look to boost strikeforce, but are we really after Jerome?
Monday, 20th Aug 2018 19:03 by Tim Whelan
There are a few stories today concerning Leeds and various strikers, but the link with Derby County’s Cameron Jerome seems a bit unlikely to me.
Championship clubs can still sign players on loan until the end of August, and ‘Football Insider’ website are claiming that a “well-placed source” has told them that Leeds are hoping to tie up a deal with Jerome, who has been out of favour at Pride Park since Frank Lampard took over the Derby hot seat.
32 year-old Jerome has been with Derby since January and scored six goals in 20 appearances, having previously been a key member of the Norwich side who won promotion in 2014/15. But the big striker will have less than fond memories of his visit to Elland Road that season, getting abuse from the home crowd after his allegations that Giuseppe Bellusci had racially abused him in the corresponding fixture at Norwich.
Jerome failed to prove that charge when Bellusci was called to appear before the FA disciplinary committee. But after the Leeds crowd had called him a “lying b******d” at Elland Road, Jerome insisted that “I know what I heard” when he spoke to the press at the end of the game. Given this unpleasant history, he might prefer to sign for one of the other clubs said to be chasing his signature.
Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers are said to be interested, as well Turkish Super Liga sides Trabzonspor, Ankaragucu and Goztepe. He would be more likely to get first team football at one of these clubs rather than at Leeds, where Bielsa seems to be intent on playing with a lone striker, and Jerome would be behind Roofe and Bamford in the queue for that one spot.
We also have Tyler Roberts in the current squad, though the 19 year-old is still trying to establish himself after suffering an injury soon after his arrival at Leeds last season. He’s in the under 23 squad for their trip to Millwall this week, which will rule him out of any involvement in the first team game at Swansea.
This might suggest that Bielsa thinks Roberts isn’t yet ready for the first team, and will therefore be looking for someone like Jerome as a backup in his senior squad. Or it could just be that he’s decided that as he doesn’t need Roberts for the Swansea trip he might as well get a game for the younger team, but could be considered in the weeks to come.
Another one for the future could be Juventus striker Andrea Favilli, as Andrea Radrizzani has confirmed to Italian publication ‘Gazzetta dello Sport’ that we came close to signing him in the summer. “Concrete interest in Favilli, very strong, but for the promotion, we opted for the experience.”
Juventus signed the young striker from Ascoli for €7.5m in June, but ended up loaning him to Genoa earlier this month. But if Favilli doesn’t make the breakthrough at Juventus he might be a player that Leeds will look to sign in the next year or two.
Another young striker who is on the move is Adrian Balboa, but in his case the direction is out of Leeds. The 20 year-old has failed to come into contention after arriving in Yorkshire this time last year, progressing no further than the under 23s. He’s on his way to back to his native Catalonia, according to the outlet ‘Diari de Terrassa.
Although Terrassa has a population of over 200,000, the main sporting interest in the town is hockey and Terrassa FC ply their trade in the fourth level of Spanish football. They’ve come close to promotion in the last two seasons, but it’s not exactly a move up for Adrian Balboa.
All these stories suggest that for this season at least, Leeds are looking for experienced strikers to take us up to the Premier League. So it probably makes sense to take an experienced striker on loan to tide us over until Roberts is ready, or someone like Favilli becomes available. But whether the wise old head is going to be Cameron Jerome remains to be seen.
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