Leeds United were linked with a move to sign centre-back Harold Moukoudi before he joined Middlesbrough in the January transfer window.
L’Equipe reported that Leeds, West Brom, Burnley, Derby and Stoke all wanted to sign the 22-year-old on loan for the rest of the season from Saint-Etienne before Boro swooped in and completed a temporary deal on deadline day.
However since joining Boro, Moukoudi has done little to suggest that Leeds missed out on signing a good centre-back.
Middlesbrough have lost three and drawn one of their four games that Moukoudi has started since he joined the club with the Cameroon international even scoring an own goal in the 2-2 against Wigan.
WhoScored’s average rating for Moukoudi since he joined Boro is a lowly 6.46 – which ranks him 20th in Jonathan Woodgate’s squad.
On his debut against Brentford earlier this month, the 22-year-old failed to make one tackle and completed just one interception as his side lost 3-2.
He has improved a bit since then but even in the defeat to Barnsley at the weekend, he did not win a single aerial duel.
Some Boro fans have also been very critical of Moukoudi on Twitter:
3 things we've learnt this half:
1) Friend hasn't been missed
2) Moukoudi is a fraud
3) Fletcher & Nmecha are like 12 year-olds playing against 20 year olds
— Everything Boro (@iFollowBoro) February 15, 2020
Moukoudi is a reincarnation of Andre Bikey. A huge colossal defender who looks like a beast one minute and a clumsy oaf the next. #Boro
— Kevin Scott (@Kevscott1982) February 11, 2020
Moukoudi was terrible. Should have been sent off before scoring own goal.
— Paul Mac (@paulymc1982) February 11, 2020
Absolute abysmal first half this. Not sure what Nmecha does/offers. Moukoudi very sloppy in possesion. The only player showing any form of urgency or tempo is Coulson. Big HT team talk needed from Woodgate #Boro @nmaddo @bernieslaven
— Josh Worton (@joshworton92) February 15, 2020
It seems that Leeds have not missed out at all when Moukoudi headed to The Riverside and it is a surprise to think they – along with West Brom and Premier League clubs – were even linked with the player.
Still, he is someone who Leeds can expose on Wednesday night when Marcelo Bielsa’s improving side takes on Middlesbrough on Teesside.
Boro’s form is woeful and Moukoudi has done little to improve Jonathan Woodgate’s defence.
As for Leeds, they are getting better and better with each game they play and when coming up against a team who lost to Barnsley – who were bottom of the table before the weekend – you would think they should be able to pick up maximum points.
In other Leeds United news, Kalvin Phillips is not the only player who picked up an injury on Saturday, according to Phil Hay.