Leeds United dodged a major bullet by not signing Charles De Ketelaere last summer, striker still needed
Much of the summer of 2022 as a Leeds United fan was spent checking up on the latest news about the club’s pursuit of Belgian forward Charles De Ketelaere.
The youngster was seen as the club’s primary target for their striker position, with Jesse Marsch seeing his versatility and creativity as a huge positive that would have bolstered the club’s front line.
There was one major problem though – he wasn’t interested. It was all about AC Milan for the 21-year-old, and despite Leeds pushing hard and agreeing a fee with Club Brugge, he moved to the Serie A club in August.
Leeds then pushed for Cody Gakpo and Bamba Dieng on deadline day, but we know what happened with those deals and eventually settled on Willy Gnonto, who has had a great time at Elland Road so far despite limited first-team playing time.
But for De Ketelaere in Serie A at the San Siro, it’s been nothing short of a disaster so far.
So far this season he has made 18 appearances in all competitions for the 2021/22 Italian champions, but only eight of those appearances have been starts.
Despite the reputation and price tag, De Ketelaere has managed to pick up more yellow cards this season (2) than goal contributions (1) in an AC Milan shirt as he continues to wait for his first goal for the club.
At the same time, Leeds haven’t had an issue with scoring goals this season, scoring 22 times in their 14 games to this point with Spaniard Rodrigo stepping up to the mark with nine goals in the Premier League so far.
Gnonto is thriving and Crysencio Summerville has stepped into the first-team and is shining like the top young, talent we all know he is in the absence of a guaranteed starter.
But with Patrick Bamford struggling for fitness and goals once again, and Jack Harrison’s mind not necessarily focused on Elland Road another striker is definitely still needed.
By not splashing the cash on De Ketelaere, not only have we avoided signing a dud who is struggling to adapt to a league that is slower and less physical than the Premier League, but we’ve managed to save the cash for someone else.
January’s transfer window is going to be huge for this club as they look to avoid another relegation battle in the second half of the season, and bringing in a certified goalscorer would be the ideal option.
We can thank CDK for rejecting us for the fact we still have the opportunity to do that business, and surely whoever it is can’t perform much worse than the Belgian is currently anyway.
In other Leeds news, pursuit of striker more serious than that of rivals according to report